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FabFitFun Co-Founder Katie Rosen Kitchens Gives Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

WrapWomen LA Blog: Katie Rosen Kitchens on how she manages stress and finds inspiration while running a successful start-up

For those of you who have been missing out, FabFitFun (FFF) is a women’s lifestyle brand that is most famous for their beloved membership services that spans across beauty, fashion, fitness, home tech and more. In 2018, the company crossed the one-million-members mark and last year they raised $80 million in Series A fundraising to put towards continued innovation. Damn girl, I see you.

 What’s the key to their success? Meet co-founder and editor-in-chief Katie Rosen Kitchens who oversees all of company’s content including its quarterly lifestyle magazine, video, online, social posts and spearheads FabFitFun’s charity initiatives. In an interview with WrapWomen, Rosen Kitchens gave us a glimpse into her life and shares advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.

How do you start a typical work day?

Early wakeup (I’m a morning person, no alarm needed!), straight for coffee and some “me time,” which usually includes popping into our FabFitFun community forum to hear what our members are up to and my two daughters wake up and come skipping down and then it’s a whirlwind of breakfast, getting ready to get out the door (when not in quarantine!), school drops and into the office.

My favorite part of my day is when… 

It changes daily! Sometimes it’s work-related, sometimes it’s family related. I am not great at routines and my favorite parts are usually the spontaneous moments of life. But I will say, those morning moments when everything is quiet and the day feels like anything is possible…are typically a top contender.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

My parents really drove home the idea that it’s so much more important to chase your dreams rather than to chase money. It may not always pay the bills but it’s the way to live a much more fulfilling life.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

Work life balance isn’t always attainable and that’s okay. I often struggled with am I being the best mother and wife versus am I being the best leader at FabFitFun, and it’s taken me years to recognize that I don’t always have to be the best at both. You find your partners, in both professional and personal lives, who are there to amplify all the goodness you put in at your best and carry through when you’re having an off moment. We’re not superhuman and we shouldn’t apologize for that.

What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Don’t let “no” get you down. I was told “no” too many times to count when starting FabFitFun. People didn’t get the model, they didn’t understand the trajectory of the brand or how we’d ultimately be profitable and, moreover, be profitable for their brand beyond one season. There will always be people that aren’t on board with your vision, and it can be incredibly discouraging, but it’s okay. What makes you seem like a wild card is what ultimately will be your biggest asset. Forge through the nos.

Top tips for success?

  1. You don’t have to know everything about everything you’re doing before you start. When we started out, the subscription box model was new and it was certainly new to me. We had the idea, we had the operations to make it happen and a small but mighty team, but there were certainly moments during partner negotiations or discussions of packaging requirements where I took a step back to question myself and how I had gotten here. The learning never stops and ten years in I am still learning best practices and making mistakes. If the fear of not feeling 100% in-the-know had stopped me in my tracks, we would not be at over 1 million members today!
  2. Don’t be afraid of change. If something doesn’t work, stop, reassess, change course. It doesn’t help anyone to be too precious about a certain strategy, product, partner, etc. Things change quickly and you have to be at the ready to swiftly change course and evolve.

When are you most inspired?

As someone at an e-comm business who spends a crazy amount of time in front of computer I am certainly inspired by great content sites and all kinds of social media (tiktok in social distancing is really everything) but I find that I am probably the most inspired when I’m not in front of a screen. Whether it’s traveling to a new country and immersing myself in the culture, picking the brains of the amazingly talented people at FFF, diving into coffee and conversation with an inspirational female founder, painting with my daughters, grabbing dinner with friends and family or just taking a long walk outside – this is when ideas really take form. It’s that ability to get away, disconnect and feel free enough to come up with the bad ideas that eventually lead to the good ones, that works for me.

I am most confident when…I am doing something I love. It doesn’t mean that I will always make the right or best decision (in work or life in general), but it always feels good and makes me feel happy and empowered.

I manage stress by… baths, books, wine – ideally all at once.

My superpowers are… pop culture trivia, Boggle, empathy, and an open mind. The first two don’t have a ton of impact on my life these days, but I do think the others tend to be my secret weapons. Everything I currently do at FFF has been learned on the job and less so a formal education (I was the girl with an English and Sociology double major and minor in Art History and no plans to make any money). I think a willingness to take a risk and not do things the way they are supposed to be done has been incredibly helpful. I also think I am a good read of feelings. I genuinely care about the wellbeing of our team and our members. Being able to understand what they want and try to put their needs first is something that has always been a guiding force at FFF.

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