Among San Francisco's booming tech businesses, Stitch Fix is working to change the way women shop for clothing.
The startup mails five articles of clothing and accessories in a package called a fix. Customers have the option of keeping or returning as many items as they receive.
Subscribers sign up by creating an online profile where they're asked to reveal size, favorite styles, monthly budget and lifestyle.
"Stitch Fix is a personal shopper for everyday women," said the company's founder and CEO, Katrina Lake.
Lake started the company in her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment back in 2011 while attending Harvard Business School.
The 30-year-old says her team uses art and science to give women what they want.
The art comes from clothing buyers, stylists, and the creative team which individually picks, packs and ships each fix.
The science is data used to figure out a client's preferences.
It's similar to Netflix or Pandora. Shoppers tell Stitch Fix what they like or don't like by keeping or returning items. That information is used with the customer's style profile to send clothes or accessories that users will more likely keep.
Ultimately, humans are making the final decision, but with help from an algorithm. "There's so many things in clothes that a computer is gonna have a hard time understanding of how does this fit a woman or how stretchy is this fabric. Those are all things we can take a human eye to help the algorithms understand better," said Lake.
Each fix averages about $300 dollars or $60 dollars per item. There's a $20 dollar styling fee, but it's credited towards anything that's kept. Customers that keep all five items in a fix also receive 25% off.
Stitch Fix has seen enormous growth since being founded in April of 2011. It started with 10 employees and more than 200 are currently on staff.
The company has also received close to $17 million dollars in funding this year from Baseline Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Western Technology Investment, and Benchmark.