Ten Smart CEOs: (No. 2) Felix Leuschner, Stylistpick

Felix Leuschner founded Stylistpick in November 2010, initially as a subscription only accessories retailer. Over less than 24 months he has cultivated a careful formula to navigate a well populated fashion market to bring the concept of curation to ecommerce in an ‘entertainment led’ way.

A philosophy that places celebrity ambassadors and stylists at its heart, such as Cheryl Cole, Felix has found support and funding ($20m to date) from a discerning group of individuals and VC’s including Accel Partners, Index Ventures and Fidelity Growth Partners. Having launched a French version of the site in May 2012 and looking to do the same in Spain this month, we caught up with Felix for our ‘Ten Smart CEOs’ series.

Wired Magazine this month features an article on Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter. In the piece Keith Rabois, an early Paypal executive says “There are three things you need to do as a CEO founder… Drive design, drive technology and think strategically. Some people who are really good at one can build a pretty foundational company. Most people who are very successful are good at two. But Jack is the only person in the Valley I’ve met who’s all three”.

How do you see yourself and how important is it to have people like Sonali De Rycker, Eileen Burbidge, Davor Hebel and Robin Klein on the Board?

“With Sonali, Robin, Davor and Eileen I probably have one of London’s smartest, most experienced and versatile groups of investors around my board table. All of them are invaluable individually bringing an enormous depth of experience on operational, strategic, product and personal level to our board meetings. While I appreciate and benefit hugely from their collective input and their wide reaching contacts, being the only founder of my company facing four investors at board, I had to remind myself now and again in the early days to trust myself in my own decision making – even if challenged by such a high calibre group of VCs.

The founder ultimately knows his business best, the board should function as a sounding board, provide advice and critically challenge proposals, but in the end it comes down to the CEO to lead and drive the business operationally and strategically. So my advice: Be reflective, but don’t forget to trust yourself! Investors invest in entrepreneurs first, so that’s also what your board expects from you.”

Thank you Felix.

To find out more about Stylistpick visit their website at stylistpick.com

Alternatively, to find out more about available office property in the Silicon Roundabout area contact Kushner at www.kushnerproperty.com

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