The CEO of a fashion business with $28 million and an audience of 25 million decided to skip college and go straight to work after 45 minutes driving around a parking lot | Digital Asia
- Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
- Katherine Power skipped a college education entirely when she couldn’t find a parking spot on her first day of classes after driving around for 45 minutes.
- Instead, she worked for Touchstone Pictures and ultimately co-created the fashion blog Who What Wear.
- In 2006, Power became the CEO of Clique Brands Inc., which has raised $28 million, serves an online audience of 25 million, and has a popular clothing line in Target.
Many successful CEOs dropped out of college to start their own company, but Katherine Power skipped a college education entirely after she couldn’t find a parking spot on her first day of classes.
Power was warned to arrive an hour early for school at Santa Monica Community College because it was difficult to find parking on campus. Power thought, “I’m never going to waste an hour of my time,” she said on an episode of Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I Did it.”
She continued: “So I’ll show up a little late and get somebody who’s pulling out and I’ll take their spot. And so I did and I drove around and drove around.” But everyone else had the same idea.
After driving around for 45 minutes, Power came to a realization: “You know what? This is not for me.”
Power was interning at Touchstone Pictures in Burbank at the time and called the office as she pulled out of SMC’s parking lot and said, “I’m available to work Monday through Friday if you’ll have me.”
From that day on Power said she worked from 9:00 a.m. until the office closed “literally every day.”
“I think I would have paid them to let me work there,” Power said.
This move does not work for everyone, Power acknowledged. “It definitely doesn’t work for most people, probably, but I have, since a very young age, just wanted to work. I just want to create products and make money,” she said.
After working for Touchstone, Power worked for special-events producer and night life connoisseur Brent Bolthouse. Her work for Bolthouse got Power recognized and hired by Elle magazine where she stayed for a short time before teaming up with an Elle co-worker and creating the newsletter Who What Wear in 2005.
The newsletter turned into a fashion blog and lead to the creation of Clique Brands Inc., where Power has been CEO since 2014. Two years later Power struck a deal with Target for a Who What Wear clothing line. Today, Clique Brands Inc. has raised $28 million, closing a Series C round last year of $15 million, which included an investment from Amazon. Clique Brands have an online audience, across all blog and social accounts, of 25 million.
“I always tell people who are looking for what they want to do with their life, I say, ‘Find something you love to do, and then figure out a way to get paid for it,’” Power said. “I think it’s success if you are able to wake up every day and go do something that you love to do.”