Reina Govindarajan | Head of Member E-Commerce at FabFitFun

After a successful career in fashion sales and a year-long MBA program, Reina realized the convergence of fashion and technology would bring her a number of new opportunities. Today, Reina leads member e-commerce and brand partnerships at FabFitFun, the leading lifestyle subscription box and commerce company.

 

 

SO HOW'D YOU GET STARTED?

 

After 2008, the fashion industry changed. The city and industry was depressed. I used to make these huge commission checks selling gowns that were anywhere from $14,000 to $150,000 if it was custom. Those sales just weren’t happening. That’s when I pivoted and decided to do my MBA at Hult. After business school, I started to think about technology. There were so many tech startups with brilliant founders that didn’t know how to shape their product to execute for that end user's needs.

 

It was really serendipitous how I was introduced to FabFitFun. The three founders all had several different people from their network introduce me to them around the exact same time. I was looking for a new challenge and was intrigued by how smart everyone was. As a rule, I only want to work with really brilliant people. You put a bunch of smart people in a room together, you can accomplish just about anything. I joined the company in 2016, about six months after first meeting the founders. I was supposed to be running all lifestyle partnerships, which meant I would be doing fashion, beauty, fitness, tech. I was also running account management. 

 

Then after running a successful flash sale, my founders asked if I wanted to run e-comm. I’d never been a buyer, but the reality is there was nobody else to do it. What do you tell your founders when they ask if you want to do something? You just say yes. It’s a tech startup. You wear many hats and you get dirty.

 

 

"What do you tell your founders when they ask if you want to do something? You just say yes. It’s a tech startup. You wear many hats and you get dirty."

 

 

ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU'RE MOST PROUD OF?

 

My greatest accomplishment today has been creating this collaborative energy around the e-commerce program at FabFitFun. With a very small team, but a tremendous amount of support and collaboration from other teams, we’ve been able to grow e-comm from essentially 0% of the company’s revenue to around 30% in just two and half years.

 

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

 

Someone once told me that everyone has four burners. There’s a work burner, there’s a love and relationships burner, a family burner, and a home burner. Sometimes I feel like I’m burning all of them —full blast, full fire, all night long, all day long — which isn’t sustainable. So success, for me, is when I am in balance and all those burners are in perfect harmony. It’s a challenge for me because I’m so type A.

 

 

SECRET TO PUSHING THROUGH WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH?

 

I’m like a racehorse with blinders on. I’m very goal oriented. So when I’m given a target, I see that target and just keep my eyes on the prize. I know I can’t hit that target without the help from everyone on my team, so I feel like I spend a big portion of my time trying to inspire and empower everyone on my team to get there with me. And we just do. There is no alternative. It’s just raw determination. I’m a salesperson. It’s in my blood.

 

ROLE MODELS OR MENTORS? 

 

A woman who’s been instrumental in keeping me grounded, playing devil’s advocate, and helping me get to the next level is the CEO of Ahava. Her name is Beth Ann Catalano. There isn’t a single person in the beauty industry that doesn’t know her name. The thing that I admire most about her is that it doesn’t matter where Beth Ann is, she has an innate ability to make everyone feel seen, heard, and appreciated. And that is a gift that all leaders should possess. It’s something that is really hard to do, especially when you're trying to be a racehorse with blinders on, with your eye on the prize. Bringing this woman into my life has been instrumental in helping me get to the next level in my career.

 

 

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

 

I’m really inspired by my team and my colleagues. I’m pretty blown away by how bright and driven everyone is at FabFitFun. I feel so blessed to have a job that I want to wake up for and come into in the morning. We spend more time working than we do with our family and our friends, so I think that’s important. When I take vacation, I miss them!

 

ULTIMATE LIFE HACK?

 

I downloaded Boomerang. It’s an application that helps me manage my inbox. Time management is a really hard thing because email is a black hole. I read Tim Ferriss’ book and learned that he only checks email once a week. Then I realized I don’t really need to read email constantly throughout the day. So now I check email once throughout the day. Boomerang helps me. I made all my team members download it too.

 

 

"You put a bunch of smart people in a room together, you can accomplish just about anything."

 

 

GO-TO PRODUCTIVITY HACK?

 

I make my own personal deadlines three to five days before the actual deadline, so I know I have ample time to run whatever that deliverable is by my mentors and my peers, and to spot check it, and spot check it again.

 

PIECE OF ADVICE?

 

Spend a lot of time crafting your elevator pitch. Know how your skillset is translatable to whatever role you want, whatever role you could potentially dream up. Just get in there and do it. Another thing is to use LinkedIn to network. I've actually hired people who direct messaged me on LinkedIn and told me how they were interested in working for FabFitFun.

 

 

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?

 

I hike a lot. I actually just signed up for a creative writing workshop. I used to have a blog when I was younger called Almost Arranged and I used to chronicle the arranged marriage dates that my mom used to force me to go on. I’ve always wanted to write that story of my journey as an Indian American woman. Or sell it to Mindy Kaling.

 

IF YOUR COWORKERS WERE TO DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY IN ONE WORD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

 

Loving. I’m diehard loyal. I leave this office in the evening and I tell my team I love them. And some people would probably think that it’s weird, but I legitimately do.

 

HOW DO YOU DEFINE WELLNESS?

 

Being able to keep my inner pendulum in balance is wellness. When I’m in balance, I affect balance in everything else that’s around me.

 

FAVORITE WAY TO LET LOOSE?

 

Sharing a bottle of wine with a really good friend.

 

WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?

 

There’s so much more for me to do and accomplish at FabFitFun. I do believe the sky’s the limit for what we’re doing here and I’m committed to seeing this through. Personally, it’s working toward creating balance for myself.

 

 

 

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