Logo for Elevate Grant & Mentorship program.

FAQs for Elevate Grant Program

Elevate is our grant and mentorship program designed to promote a more diverse retail landscape by supporting the next wave of BIPOC entrepreneurs in fashion. The program will provide financial grants and mentor underrepresented entrepreneurs by sharing resources, unique data insights and expertise to help grow their business.

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 BIPOC-owned business in the United States that sells Women’s, Men’s or Kid’s apparel, shoes and/or accessories. In this first year, we will prioritize supporting Black entrepreneurs through the program.
  • 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 product - 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.

Applicants must self-identify as Asian, Black, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and hold majority stake ownership of their business.

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

Yes, you are eligible if you can provide proof that you’ve been operating for 2 or more years. Being incorporated is not a requirement.

At this time, only businesses based in the United States are eligible to apply.

No, applicants do not need to be a current or past client of Stitch Fix to apply for a grant. Being a Stitch Fix client will not improve an applicant’s chance of selection.

No. Employees of Stitch Fix and their immediate family members (spouses, parents, siblings, children) are not eligible to apply.

Each grantee will receive $25,000.

The 5 grantees will receive the cash award in 2 installments. The first payment at the start of the program, the second at the end of the program.

For more details on distribution of financial awards, please refer to the Elevate Program Terms and Conditions.

No, grantees will not be asked to pay back the grant.

We expect recipients to use the grant funding for legitimate business expenses in line with what they outlined in their application. We will not be monitoring how recipients choose to use the funds.

You can access the application here. Please note, applicants are unable to save an “application in progress.” We recommend applicants review application questions in advance, and create a copy to finalize their entries and save a personal record before submitting through the application portal.

After submitting written responses through the portal, applicants will receive an email including a unique applicant ID and Box.com link to upload their documents to complete the application process.

After submitting written responses through the portal, applicants will receive an email including a unique applicant ID and Box.com link to upload their documents to complete the application process.

Applicants are unable to save an “application in progress.” We recommend applicants review application questions in advance here, and create a copy to finalize their entries and save a personal record before submitting through the application portal.

Yes. As part of the application, you will be asked to provide a:

  • Current resume
  • Digital Lookbook or other photo images of your merchandise, and Line Sheets
  • 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

Yes, all applications must be submitted and received by October 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

After submitting written responses through the portal, applicants will receive an email including a unique applicant ID and Box.com link to upload their documents to complete the application process. Once your documents have been uploaded, you will receive an email confirming your application is complete and received.

Yes. If you’re selected as a finalist, we’ll reach out for more detailed business and financial information, including financial statements, and for product images and information that we will use to evaluate you as a finalist. We will also ask for (2) references.

We will present (5) grantees with the following:

  • A $25,000 cash grant to support business expenses.
  • Ongoing support from our Algorithms team 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 and CEO, Katrina Lake, 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 product to be sold on the Stitch Fix platform.

Applications will be reviewed by a group of Stitch Fix employees and external advisors from our partner, Harlem’s Fashion Row.

After confirmation of meeting eligibility requirements, each application is reviewed and evaluated 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 this program could support it.

While it is not a requirement to currently offer merchandise that would succeed in our platform today, each applicant should be interested in growing or expanding their business in this market. Where we believe we can share the most valuable insights is in the market we operate today across women's, men’s and kids’ apparel and accessories ranging from value, to mid-tier and up to premium price points. Our intention with this program is to support your business with insights to succeed both in the retail industry at large, and within the Stitch Fix ecosystem. Through the mentorship and ongoing support from our Merchandising and Algorithms team, we will work closely with each grantee to provide feedback and place wholesale orders for grantee’s product to be sold on Stitch Fix’s platform.

Portfolio data will be used solely to evaluate applications and will not otherwise be shared without the applicant's approval, and will not be used for Stitch Fix design purposes.

Yes. The only people who will be privy to the information in your application will be the selection committee.

Applicants may apply for one business only. We allow one submission per company per year.

All finalists will be contacted via email by our selection committee.

Finalist interviews will take place in December.

The five grantees will be announced by the end of December.

Yes, all finalists will be notified.

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept samples of merchandise for review, but ask that all applicants share images of their merchandise as part of the application.

Yes, our intention is to create a program for the long-term and that has sustained impact within our own assortment and the larger retail landscape. We’re excited to launch Elevate and take the learnings from our first year to continue to iterate and optimize the program for success for all grantees.

For more details, please refer to the Grant program Terms and Conditions.