LOS ANGELES — FabFitFun continues to refine the balancing act between content and commerce as it tests conferences with its first FabFitFun Founder Collective Aug. 11.
The conference — a cross of informational panels, leadership seminars and chances for attendees to network with entrepreneurs — will take place at a Bel Air mansion the West Hollywood the company rented out for the month of August for a number of events.
Speakers include actress Tori Spelling, in addition to executives — many of them founders or chief executive officers — from across technology, food, finance, beauty and fashion, including Pinterest, Iconery, Facebook, Instagram, Sugarfina, Little Market, BAM Ventures and Tone It Up. There will also be on-site massages, manicures, a FabFitFun build-a-box station and wellness station.
Katie Rosen Kitchens, FabFitFun cofounder and editor in chief, said the idea for the conference was something executives wanted to develop for the past few years. There’s also been good momentum around Facebook Live sessions the company calls Founder Chats during which entrepreneurs are interviewed about how they started their brand.
“For us, we don’t look at FabFitFun as a subscription box. We look at FabFitFun as a membership,” Kitchens said. “It’s not just sending people a box.”
The Founder Collective, Kitchens went on to say, just moves forward the idea behind the Chats, which originally started out two years ago with her sitting in her office speaking with executives on her iPhone. Production is now much more sophisticated, especially with the company also having launched FabFitFun TV in the spring of last year, originally rolling out with a focus on fitness content.
The company’s charging a conference early bird rate of $149.99, which later bumps up to $189.99. Kitchens estimates attendance will likely cap around 200, given the conference’s location.
The launch into conferences comes amid a general interest among a number of consumer-facing brands looking to tap new streams of revenue that also helps build and fortify their communities — many of which have been built online. That includes offerings such as the Girlboss Rally and Create & Cultivate, which also offer educational sessions from venture firms and founders in addition to floor space for brand partners pushing their services.
What makes FabFitFun’s event unique, Kitchens said, is what she called a “behind-the-curtain” look into the company and how, for example, it chooses its box products and the brands it partners with. The other difference, the executive pointed out, is the fact that attendees will have the opportunity to network with company founders and executives.
The company’s already received feedback from members outside of Los Angeles expressing interest in the conference thereby opening the door for additional offerings in other markets after Los Angeles, according to Kitchens.
It’s the continued focus on content, which is how the company started, that’s been key to its successes, Kitchens said.
FabFitFun’s backed by a $3.5 million Series A it raised in 2015. It last reported revenue in 2016 of $42 million and doesn’t disclose its membership figures.
“What’s really interesting about FabFitFun and sets us apart in the space is that we started on the editorial side,” Kitchens said. “We launched FabFitFun as an online magazine eight-and-a-half years ago. My background is in editorial.…We sort of came about it the opposite way.”
That intersection between content and commerce and the mastering of that for businesses helps in speaking to a new consumer mindset interested in buying into brands and founders with stories they identify with, she went on to say.
“I don’t think people these days are interested in just accumulating stuff,” she said. “They want to find value in what they’re buying and I think they find that by getting transparency from these brands and understanding who they are and where they come from and why they’re doing it. That’s why content can play such an important role in telling that story and feeling really sort of authentic to each brand. No story is ever the same.”