Stephanie Horbaczewski is the co-founder, president and CEO of StyleHaul, the leading multi-platform marketing solution for global fashion and beauty brands with scale. The StyleHaul network on YouTube has more than 200 million network subscribers and attracts more than 60 million monthly unique visitors to the content being created and curated by StyleHaul’s 5000 channels, across 63 countries, making the company the largest within these categories.
How did you get into the fashion-tech industry?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs and have always had a deep love of fashion, beauty and style. My background is in marketing, but after seeing the explosive growth and power of these online videos featuring these amazing young women and their passionate fans, I knew I wanted to be part of this.
Tell us about StyleHaul. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
StyleHaul is the largest fashion and beauty network on YouTube, and a multi-platform marketing solution for global brands with scale. We serve as a bridge, connecting these brands with a key demographic – the millennial female – and offering them a way to extend their brand message from print and TV to digital and social conversations, on a large scale. We work with 5000 creators reaching over a billion views monthly in 63 countries. My vision for the company is to continue to grow and expand this incredible community of content creators across the other six social platforms, continue to grow our Original Content, and expand our global footprint in Brazil and Asia Pacific.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to StyleHaul's success?
Our amazing community of creators and viewers is at the heart of everything we are. In addition to them, are the ground breaking brands and of course our deep relationship with YouTube. We have all contributed greatly to the development of this ecosystem and it really is the strong partnerships among us that have allowed for such incredible growth.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
When we founded StyleHaul this industry didn’t even exist, not like we know it today. I spend a lot of time on social media trends- they are predicting content behavioral patterns. I’m also looking at how the original audience who is aging up with the original superstars of this ecosystem are changing their consumption behaviors as their lives change—jobs, marriage, etc. It is an incredible time to be working in this space, things are happening and we get to help what they become.
Be inspired every day and don’t be afraid to make a mistake, then put it back together in a new way.
Be great. Be different. Be inspired.
Your greatest success as founder/CEO of StyleHaul? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
I never stop talking about my team and how exceptionally talented they are. StyleHaul would not be what it is without this team, our amazing network of influencers and our parent company, RTL Group, supporting all of us every step of the way. The most difficult thing to overcome was early on when I realized this was all so new to everyone- SH, the creators and the brands that everyone needed to stop, listen and educate themselves and each other. The space and opportunity had evolved faster than people could.
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Starting your own company means you hand over your mind, body and soul. It is grueling on a level nothing can prepare you for. Be passionate about what you are doing because that passion will lift you up when you can’t lift yourself. Second, find a mentor, a coach and a hitting partner. They all serve different roles but they will enable you to excel.
How do you motivate your employees?
I hire people who are self-starters, decisive, and looking to manage up and be leaders. So we motivate each other. But I also care greatly about my team- they are everything. I do a lot of the little things- surprise and delight, to show them I‘m listening and noticing the extra effort they put in. I have a lot of ‘pull my chair over into the middle of the room and let’s just talk’ type of meetings- keeps us connected. They know where I am at and I get to hear from them what they are struggling with or what they are proud of.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Oh tough. But if it’s the last food and drink on earth, I’d have to go with pizza and a vodka soda.
What literature is on your bed stand?
I was reading #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso – I’m so inspired and impressed by her story. She’s truly a modern businesswomen if there ever was one. Now I am reading ‘The CEO Tightrope’ by Joel Trammell- “How to master the balancing act of a successful CEO”- always be learning and improving.
Role model - business and personal?
I have so many! I am lucky to have been surrounded by so many amazing people in my life and feel very privileged by it. Definitely my Dad, he has been my motivator and inspiration all my life, without him I would never be here. Professionally my “hitting partner” and Series A investor/BOD member Anderee Berengian of RezVen who took the time to talk through all of my challenges and learned how to strengthen my weaknesses.
No question my job. I absolutely love what I do, the people I get to work with and what we are all doing.
I screen grab trends, write notes, and send articles to my team every single day—you cannot not be inspired by what we do.
Most interesting headline you've read this week?
“How to Bring Out the Leader in Every Employee” – this was an article on INC.com.
What's next for StyleHaul?
We’ve got big plans for 2015 – continued expansion into new markets, including Brazil and Asia-Pacific, original content, and major expansion across the six other social platforms. Right now, it really feels like this is just the beginning.
A fashion industry alumnae with more than a decade of experience working with iconic brands like Saks Fifth Avenue, Horbaczewski established StyleHaul in 2011 with the vision of translating the fashion editorial space, at scale, to digital, social and multi-platform trends. StyleHaul speaks directly to the influential and engaged 18 to 34-year old female demographic.
Horbaczewski has expanded StyleHaul to more than 70 employees and offices in New York, Chicago and London, with programming also being executed in South East Asia and Brazil. StyleHaul’s headquarters are in Los Angeles.
Under her leadership, StyleHaul has partnered with marquee global beauty brands like L’Oreal and Maybelline, on premium branded content programs, spearheaded global industry trends and shifts, executed successful rounds of funding and recently announced an unprecedented deal with FremantleMedia to develop 10 original content series over the next two years. Lisa Kudrow and the Showtime Networks’ “Web Therapy” made its digital debut on StyleHaul in September via new webisodes, one of which features one of YouTube’s brightest stars, Caspar Lee, who was also part of the cast of “The Crew,” the first original content series produced by StyleHaul and FremantleMedia.
Stephanie was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in 2013 and has been featured in leading publications like: The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. She holds a BA in Classics from Trinity College and a JD/MBA from Suffolk University.
StyleHaul is a leading multi-platform marketing solution for global fashion and beauty brands with scale. StyleHaul, which is the largest fashion and beauty network on YouTube, helps to curate style-centric programming designed for the 18 to 34 year-old female demographic and content across all of the social platforms. The network is home to more than 5,000 YouTube content creators and curators, across more than 63 countries and 200 million network subscribers. StyleHaul has more than 60 million monthly unique visitors and is leading the next generation of fashion-forward influencers, who come to not only consume, but also to create, share and engage with their communities online.
StyleHaul’s headquarters are in Los Angeles, with additional offices in Chicago, New York and London and content programs running throughout the North America, EMEA, APAC and LATAM. StyleHaul recently launched successful original content programming, as result of a multiyear deal with FremantleMedia, including the popular YouTube series "The Crew." StyleHaul is also the digital home of Lisa Kudrow and the Showtime Network's "Web Therapy." The company works with brands like L'Oreal, Maybelline, Macy's, Nasty Gal and PacSun.