Elevate - Stitch Fix grant & mentorship program

Our Vision: Opportunity for all

Stitch Fix aims to promote a more diverse retail landscape by supporting entrepreneurs of color who are building the next wave of apparel and accessories businesses.

Our Mission: To grow businesses and change the industry


Through Elevate, Stitch Fix will mentor entrepreneurs of color using our art and science approach, and help fund their businesses with financial grants. We will use our resources, data insights and expertise to help underrepresented entrepreneurs scale their businesses. By fostering POC-owned businesses, we are actively working toward a more diverse vendor base within our own assortment and accelerating change in our industry.

Now in its second year, Stitch Fix is proud to continue its partnership with Harlem’s Fashion Row serving as an external advisor on the Elevate program.

Elevate’s goals include:

  • Creating an ecosystem to support and grow entrepreneurs of color to scale their businesses.
  • Championing technology, data insights and customer feedback to fuel innovation and growth in retail.
  • Delivering on our promise to help clients find what they love by broadening our assortment with new products from a more diverse set of vendors.

How does it work?

We aim to support our grantees with the insights and feedback to help them grow their businesses. We will present six (6) grantees with the following:

  • A $25,000 cash grant to support business expenses.
  • Ongoing support from our Algorithms and Buying teams to leverage data insights to understand and improve the product-market fit of their designs with potential clients, including detailed reports built with the aid of Stitch Fix’s data science tools.
  • Individual monthly product-to-market advisory support via video conference over the duration of the program based on the grantee’s expressed support interests.
  •  One call with Stitch Fix Founder, Katrina Lake and/or Stitch Fix CEO, Elizabeth Spaulding during the course of the program.
  • One call with our external program advisor, Harlem’s Fashion Row Founder and CEO, Brandice Daniel, during the course of the program.
  • Amplification through our marketing channels to highlight each grantee to our community.
  • At the end of the program, we will place wholesale orders for grantee’s merchandise to be sold on the Stitch Fix platform.
  • Access to our partner, SPS Commerce’s Lift Program, including a two-year membership that provides complimentary technology products across Fulfillment (EDI), Assortment and Analytics.

Who’s eligible?

Applicants must be:

  • 18 years of age or older as of the date the application is submitted.
  • Eligible to work in the United States.
  • An early-stage* majority POC-owned business in the United States that sells Women’s, Men’s or Kid’s apparel, shoes and/or accessories. (“POC” means you identify as Asian, Black, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.)
  • Applicants may apply for one business only.

*An early-stage business means:

  • Your business has been operating a minimum of 2 years.
  • You are working to grow a customer base and/or strengthen your operations.
  • You are currently selling physical products: apparel, shoes and/or accessories.
  • You are generating revenue between $50,000 and $1,000,000 per fiscal year.

For more details on the eligibility requirements, please refer to the Elevate Program Terms and Conditions.

What’s the process?

Our application period will commence on October 6, 2021, and close on October 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The application consists of the following sections:

1: Online application

  • Owner’s background and contact information.
  • General business information.
  • Company/Brand Vision and Mission statement.
  • How you would use the financial grant and mentoring opportunities to support your business.

2: Digital Lookbook or other photo images of your merchandise and Line Sheets

3: 2-3 minute video that shares additional details: Who you are, what your business is and why you’re the right fit for the Elevate program.

All sections of the application must be completed by October 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET, to be considered for the 2021-2022 program. Limit one (1) entry per person/email address/business.

Our internal review consists of two steps.

Step #1: Initial Evaluation

Eligible applications will be reviewed by a group of Stitch Fix employees and external advisors from our partner, Harlem’s Fashion Row. The Finalists, and ultimately the Recipients, will be selected from among all eligible applicants based on the following criteria:

  • Your Vision and Mission:
    Why you started your business and what it stands for.
  • Your Brand:
    How your brand is positioned and its opportunity in the market.
  • Your Plan:
    How your business plan is aimed at growth and how the Elevate program could support it.

Step #2: Finalist Evaluation

  • From all submissions, we will narrow our selection to 10 Finalists who will be invited to participate in a video conference interview with a panel of Stitch Fix employees and Harlem’s Fashion Row CEO and Founder, Brandice Daniel.
  • Evaluation of merchandise will be aided by tools* developed by our Algorithms team that predict market fit and success metrics for novel merchandise.
  • We will select six (6) Elevate Recipients for the 2021-2022 grant program.
  • The grant program winners will be informed in December 2021. The program will begin in January 2022 for all Recipients and run through August 2022.

*Data Science Tools: Each Finalist will be provided with a detailed product and market-fit report for their line sheet submission. These reports will be generated with the aid of proprietary tools developed by our Data Science team and provide designers with access to industry-leading insights into matching their merchandise with potential clients.

Timeline

October 6, 2021
Application opens

October 31, 2021
Application closed

December 2021
Grantees informed

January 2022
Grantees announced &
mentorship program begins

August 2022
Mentorship
program ends

Meet the 2021 grantees


Jamela Acheampong

Bettina Benson

Diarra Bousso

Busayo Olupona

Robin Sirleaf

Marcus Alexander Thomas

See what Elevate is all about



Have more questions? Check out our FAQs.

Need to get in touch with us? Contact us: elevate-program@stitchfix.com