With the busy demands of parenting and careers, moms can struggle to find time to shop for stylish clothes that fit them well. Add in the challenges of a child with special needs or a cancer diagnosis and opportunities for “me time” become few and far between.
Stitch Fix, an online subscription and personal styling service, employs more than 2,800 stylists, all of whom are trained to choose personalized items that cater to each client’s lifestyle, body type and style. But Stitch Fix stylists aren’t just deciding which skirt would look best for their client’s upcoming mom’s night out — they’re hearing the intimate details of each customer’s life, and often reaching out to do something kind for women in need of encouragement.
Laura Fanucci, who blogs at Mothering Spirit, recently posted to her Facebook page about how Stitch Fix reached out to her in a time of grief — shortly after the loss of her twin daughters, who were delivered at 24 weeks gestation and died from a pregnancy complication called Twin-To-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.
Fanucci had informed her Stitch Fix stylist that she was pregnant, requesting maternity clothes from the company. After her daughters died, she wrote a note to her stylist requesting that she no longer be sent maternity clothes and explaining why.
“I opened up the mailbox (a few weeks later) — on the original due date for my pregnancy no less — and found this package from Stitch Fix,” said Fanucci. “When I opened it up, I found a handwritten card of condolences and a small box. Inside was a silver bracelet with an infinity symbol holding all my kids’ initials. I burst into tears, of course, but the good kind of tears — the kind I have come to know, as a bereaved parent, when people reach out to you with such goodness.”
Julie Bornstein, chief operating officer of Stitch Fix, says the company was founded on the idea of helping women look and feel great, while focusing on the things that are most important to them. Because there is a stylist handling each client’s subscription personally, Bornstein says relationships are often built, and women frequently feel comfortable sharing personal details of their lives.
“We ended up finding that women were sharing a lot of intimate details with us,” Bornstein told TODAY Parents. “A lot of women tell us they’re pregnant before they tell their family and friends because they need to adjust their sizes...Women have a natural inclination to share what’s going on in their lives, and they feel like they want to explain why they need something later or why they put their next Fix on hold, so they end up sharing these really incredible stories.”
When Amanda Huffman’s 7-year-old daughter, Avery, was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, she spent nearly eight months tending to her daughter’s every need as she underwent treatment.
“As a mom, I never wanted to leave her side,” said Huffman, who started the Avery Huffman Defeat DIPG Foundation in her daughter’s memory. “I would update my Stitch Fix account requesting casual loungewear, and even canceled one month because clothes and fashion seemed so unimportant and far from where my mind and heart were in reality.”
Shortly after Avery died, Huffman says she received a handwritten note from Stitch Fix, along with a necklace.
“The note explained how they had heard about my Avery and her passing, and that they wanted to send the necklace along as a symbol of her bravery,” said Huffman. “We called her ‘brAvery.’ It was special. It was kind. It has made me a customer for life.”
Bornstein says Stitch Fix finds out about client needs in a variety of ways — from notes written to stylists by their clients directly, to other Stitch Fix customers who email customer service to tell them of a story they came across online. The company employs what Bornstein calls their “Client Love Team,” who handles shopping for thoughtful gifts and writing encouraging notes to clients.
“When these stories come in, I think anyone who reads it is very drawn to wanting to help the person however they can,” said Bornstein. “So, while our job is to find great clothes that meet your needs, when there’s an extenuating circumstance, we — as individuals — care.”