Inspiring, Creative, & Profitable: How Huckberry is Transforming E-Commerce

20160107_153616-resizedThe fourth iteration of Villanova in the Valley has brought unique opportunities for us, the student participants, to grow and learn from a diverse range of professionals – each with his or her own educational background, technical skills, and professional aspirations. Throughout the week, our group has visited over 15 organizations with diverse disciplines, including research, cyber-security, technical innovation, data management, and retail operations. In each of these visits, industry leaders – many of them Villanova alumni – have unveiled valuable insight into how they drive innovation in the Bay Area.

One such visit was a trip to Huckberry, an e-commerce site dedicated to inspiring “more active, adventurous, and stylish lives” through exclusive sales, story-telling, and a unique customer experience. Co-founded in 2011 by Andy Forst and Richard Greiner (VU ’07), Huckberry has grown rapidly, eclipsing $15 million of revenue in under 5 years since its inception. Moreover, it has created a new paradigm for e-commerce sites, driving growth by curating high-quality products and by developing meaningful, newsletter-driven relationships with customers and business partners.

In addition to providing an overview of Huckberry’s retail operations in San Francisco, Richard took an opportunity to candidly discuss the company’s rapid growth, the challenges of “bootstrapping” a company without external funding, the process of creating a culture of like-minded employees, and the importance of pursuing a fulfilling career built upon one’s interests and values. With a balance of passion and humility, he presented Huckberry as an example of how creativity and entrepreneurship may yield impressive financial growth and a meaningful social experience for customers. Richard’s and Andy’s open responses to a diverse array of questions demonstrated a strong willingness to serve as mentors to a diverse group of students, and it is this spirit of collaboration which has so positively impacted the experience of students participating in Villanova in the Valley this year.

To register for Huckberry’s twice-weekly newsletter and check out a selection of their curated goods, visit https://huckberry.com/.