Julie Wainwright, a 60-year-old entrepreneur is the founder of The RealReal, an online store for second-hand luxury fashion. The site sells authenticated Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and many other luxury items. How it works is, the seller of the item sends it to the company. The company then has their in-house authentication team to certify the item is real. After the item has been authenticated, the item is placed on the website where it is sold. The proceeds are shared between The RealReal and the owner/seller. On the site, you will find women’s fashion, menswear, jewelry, art, watches, and home décor. The RealReal has already raised 170 million since it launched 7 years ago. Investors see potential in the company and believe that it the company would do better if it got the advertising and money to grow.
The RealReal employs more than 950 people. They have six offices, San Francisco, New York, L.A., Chicago, and Washington D.C. These locations help people talk face to face with actual employees. Julie Wainwright wants to expand her internet business to actual storefront business, starting with the original New York Location. They have $50 million in growth funding for the firm Great Hill Partners. 80% of the customers are women. Men do shop at The RealReal, but mainly for watches and leather goods. For every 4 buyers, there is someone trying to sell their items. The majority of the consignors also buy items from the company. So basically the money they just made off their items, is going back to The RealReal.
The RealReal has over 6 million subscribed members. The company is basically luxury eBay. She got the idea after watching her friend buy thousands of dollars’ worth of stuff in under five minutes. Julie Wainwright has been recognized as most-admired CEOs in 2014 and 2017 by San Francisco Business Times. She then got the Springboard Enterprises’ NorthStar Award. All her time has paid off and, she has been very successful in her career. In 7 years she has created one of the most successful online luxury shops.