Trunk Club announced early Monday morning that it's hired Rob Chesney, a former eBay executive and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at reputable venture firm Greylock, to become its Chief Operating Officer as the mens' clothing retailer experiences fast growth.
"I was immediately drawn to problem they wanted to solve," said Chesney, in an interview. That proble m is that men don't like to go through "the process of discovering [clothes and accessories] themselves... what men need is advice and help on how to discover new clothes." Trunk Club provides just that personalized service.
Indeed, Trunk Club isn't your typical online retailer. The way it works is that customers work with stylists who help put together a sample wardrobe based on the customers' likes and dislikes.
The stylist prepares a selection of eight to 12 items from shirts, slacks, ties and other products, which are then delivered to the customer in a trunk.
If the customer doesn't like any of the selections, he can return them all. Chesney didn't say what percent of items are shipped back. But stylists are paid on commission. So, they work pretty hard to know their clients to make sure what they ship out doesn't come back.
Chesney joins Trunk Club, which was founded in 2009, as the retailer is seeing significant growth. Over the last year, revenue has skyrocketed, and is on track to grow 500% to an estimated $5.5 million for 2011. "We're anticipating continuing on the growth curve," said Chesney, adding that the company had an opportunity to do "north of $10 million in revenue next year."
The company, which raised $11 million since inception from notable venture firms such as U.S. Venture Partners, Greycroft Partners, Apex Venture Partners and Anthos, has also hired significantly in the last 12 months, quadrupling its staff to 60 from 16 at the start of the year.
The company also plans next year to move to a larger office space (roughly 25,000 square feet), said Chesney. At the moment, Trunk Club's offices also act as its warehouse from where it ships out all its merchandise.
Trunk Club's growth comes amid a flurry of fashion-related sties emerge on the scenes, often with significant funding. Beachmint raised $23.5 million this past summer. CakeStyle, which delivers personal fashion to your door, recently launched. JustFabulous raised $33 million for subscription shopping in September.
rush of interest from the venture community t in fashion-related sites. In November,