When Susan Gregg was 17 she was heading off to Carnegie Mellon University, but she found her closet packed full of vintage clothes and shoes that she had collected.
So she decided to get rid of them, and what better way than to open an online boutique. That year, Susan began ModCloth.com right from her dorm room. She would often drive from uni to her southern Florida hometown to pick up more stock.
Soon the site was overwhelming, 60,000 visitors per month wanted more. That’s when Susan realised the potential of the business. She started looking for designers and suppliers, eventually finding a trade show in Las Vegas via Google search. Susan went to the show with the intention to find herself a designer, which she did.
Susan still needed to raise the capital to pay for her rising costs, so on the advice of her boyfriend she took out $50,000 in credit card debt with the rest coming in the form of loans from her boyfriend’s family.
It was a big step to take, but ultimately these are the risked you have to take if you want to make it big.
Since her original idea in 2002, she has come a long way, but it wasn’t until 2006 when she hired designers to create an original collection for the site, that things have really taken off.
As it stands today the site is getting over 2million visitors per month and ModCloth is looking to surpass the $50million mark in sales this year. Susan has also managed to raise $20million in new funding so that she can open up offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles as employees near 150.
Susan’s personality shines through when you look at the business, ModCloth is a social commerce and she makes sure that customers feel involved whether they are buying or not. There is even an opportunity for the customers to choose which styles go into production.
This is the kind of thinking that will help Susan continue to grow ModCloth well into the future.