CEO Don Ressler Has Grown Numerous Companies

Don Ressler is the man credited with a number of excellent startups. This includes Intelligent Beauty, JustFab, and Fabletics. His first startup was FitnessHeaven.com. It was bought by Intermix media in 2001. Ressler then worked with the COO of Intermix, Adam Goldenberg to create Alena Media. The e-commerce and advertising department made hundreds of millions of dollars and was the profit center for Intermix. When News Corp acquired the startup in 2005, the pair were frustrated about being ignored and decided to explore other ideas.

Don Ressler and Goldenberg recognized the fact that performance marketing was growing field and decided to make a brand that they could have full control over. They brought together teammates from other Alena team members of the past and brainstormed in the living room of Adam Goldenberg. After two weeks, Brand Ideas (the original Intelligent Beauty) was born.

The first part of the business was DERMSTORE, a skincare marketplace that offers cosmetics as well. The brand building business they built is direct to consumer. They then launched a weight loss business called SENSA. They hired Dr. Alan Hirsch to develop the product and also the founder of Intermix Brett Brewer to be the CEO.

Intelligent Beauty does not release its financial statements, but SENSA and DERMASTORE are apparently very profitable. Ressler and Goldenberg bootstrapped most of the funding for about two years, then received $43 million from Technology Crossover Ventures in 2008 for funding.

Intelligent Beauty launched its third company in 2010 called JustFab, a subscription based e-commerce fashion retail store. JustFab was funded in 2011 with $33 million from Matrix Partners. Kimora Lee Simmons came on board as the creative director and president of the company last September. In December, they grew to have 4 million members. In April of 2012, that number surpassed 6 million. Thus, the founders sought to raise another round, totaling $76 million in funding from Rho Ventures, Crossover Ventures, Matrix Partners, and Intelligent Beauty (the parent company) later that June.

They rode the momentum of their earlier successful years and JustFab started to expand into new markets. They realized that many of their customers had children. So they acquired a subscription service focused on kids fashion called FabKids in 2013. Later that year, JustFab picked up Fab Shoes, a European fashion e-commerce website. By the end of that year, their membership numbers rose to 3 million.

JustFab also created Fabletics, which focuses on athletic wear and partners with Kate Hudson. They bought out a company that was a competitor called ShoeDazzle. But the company doesn’t just do online sales now. Ressler raised $85 million in another round of funding with Passport Special Opportunity Fund.

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