“We’re constantly asked: Did you ever think that the company would be this big? Or, that you would be getting into this business and have these lines?,” Katherine Power, shared, reflecting on the evolution of Clique Media Group.
“The truth is: Yes, I did,” the Co-founder and CEO of what many deem to be an “online empire,” said.
“I always wanted it to be a very big business. I knew exactly how we were going to get there and what we would do along the way.”
Rewind a decade and the widely known website Who What Wear, Clique Media Group’s first brand, began as a daily email sent by Katherine and her co-founder Hillary Kerr.
The newsletter centered on a single piece of fashion news that included links to purchase the featured items. Who What Wear’s shoppable fashion content was native advertising before it existed.
It’s not just content or commerce. It’s the amalgamation of the two.
In 2013, after raising their first round of institutional funding, Katherine and Hillary expanded to Byrdie, a community dedicated to beauty. They launched MyDomaine, a site for home and lifestyle inspiration, six months later.
Today the combined platforms boast a whopping 30 million social media followers. The third highest in fashion; Trailing only Elle and Vogue, which by comparison were founded in 1945 (Elle) and 1892 (Vogue).
What spurred the industry changing rise of Clique Media Group? A relentless focus on data fueling an uncapped vision.
“We are a data driven lifestyle company…Our employees are taught to test everything they put out and to make very cost effective decisions,” Katherine affirmed.
“It forces you to think out of the box which is our method of getting where we want to be.”
After announcing an $8 million Series B this August, bringing their total funding to $12.5 million, the team’s focused on international expansion – Who What Wear launched in Australia on October 1st – and building an e-commerce app, which they’ll be discussing later this year.
Katherine and her team’s dedication to achieve and continuously refine their vision is an accurate representation of Spark Capital Partner Mo Koyfman’s description of visionary founders who: Think big and operate deliberately.
Everything we’ve done is carefully plotted out. Done in our own way and on our own time.
“We’ve always had our eye on the prize and we continue to do so,” Katherine asserted.
While scaling is often marked by outward achievements like fundraising and expansions, a company’s most critical evolution is the one experienced by the CEO.
Clique Media Group’s growth to 100 team members, enables Katherine to focus on the company’s big picture strategy, business development and forging new partnerships.
I don’t live and die for fashion. I live for making money on fashion.
Her analytical mind and decisiveness are fueled by immense focus, ritual, and a quivering distaste for the status quo.
“When it comes to business I’m sort of missing that part of my brain that tells me that I should care about what other people think and be afraid of taking risks,” she explained.
The only way to be decisive in an industry that can literally change overnight is to silence the never ending mind chatter that accompanies being CEO.
“You have to have balance. I know exactly how many hours of sleep I need to get. I have to work out for my mind. I have to eat certain foods. Everything is very scheduled and regimented to create a stable and consistent environment for myself.”
The resulting clarity ignites Katherine’s best ideas, which often arise during early morning Tracy Anderson fitness classes.
You have to be mentally clear and in a present mind space to make a decision.
Despite being seasoned in the business – Who What Wear, Byrdie, and MyDomaine receive 11.2 million views each month – Katherine and Hillary continue to lead their team like it’s year one.
“We have a mentality of, ‘Go forth and try something new.’ It’s very nimble. We’ll have an idea on Tuesday and make it happen on Thursday.”
“Success isn’t achieving a perfect picture. It’s continuing to evolve in this industry and creating efficiencies and entertainment for our community as technology and the media business evolve.”
Image credits to Justin Coit.