After 15 Years, These 2 Guys Have the Hottest Clothing Brand on Instagram — and Chrissy Teigen Agrees
These guys launched Revolve, an online apparel retailer, in 2003. In 2018, they expect $1 billion in sales. How do they do it?
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Here's how the brain trust at Revolve, the online apparel retailer, made the company what it is today.
Mike Karanikolas: We lived together from 2000 to 2006. Michael took the merchandising and marketplace side. I navigated to more technical work--finance, logistics. I built our shopping cart.
Michael Mente: I designed the interface and menus. Back then, my girlfriend had a roommate. The four of us went out, and he ended up marrying her--the roommate! Not my girlfriend.
Karanikolas: Now Michael and I are in the same room only 10 or 15 percent of the time. We have areas that we either manage ourselves or manage others handling them. Mine are back-end operations, logistics, anything tech related, anything heavily analytical. Anything that's marketing, brands, fashion, Michael will take. If there's a lot going on in one area, we'll put our heads together.
Mente: Like naming a new brand. It's my zone, but I always get his perspective. We recently launched H:ours. We debated: Is this name confusing or cute?
Karanikolas: There was, actually, a legal and IP question.
Mente: Our influencer marketing involves amazing trips. We've done events in the Hamptons three summers in a row. I've been there every single weekend. Mike finally made it out last year. For one day.
Karanikolas: Michael enjoys that. He's good at it, better than I am. I also have to juggle family life.
Mente: I convinced him to spend the night.
Karanikolas: How do we approach conflict? Very intellectually. Anytime he presents something to me, I want to analyze it from all areas. Not to be a jerk, but because it's how I think.
The name thing, though, was confusing. We realized we had to pick one and stick to it. So I'm always Mike. He's always Michael.
Revolve has 800 employees, sells more than 500 clothing brands, and manufactures 15 others--including Chrissy Teigen's.
Mente and Karanikolas founded Revolve with $50,000, and didn't take any outside funding until 2012.