The Kidbox CEO told attendees at the annual Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition that she left established retail brands for a startup because her happiest days on the job were during high-growth periods.

Going from a career spent with established retail brands to a children’s apparel retail startup has been a learning experience for Kidbox CEO Miki Berardelli.

“This business model is complicated,” she told attendees during her keynote presentation  Thursday at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago. “Working with so many brands, receiving goods from so many locations, that’s complicated.”

It’s complicated in part because Kidbox ships six to seven items of clothing per order, and that apparel comes from a wide assortment of brands.

Berardelli says this creates a fulfillment challenge that she and her team are working to solve.


“We’re designing the warehouse by gender and style personality so we can optimize that pick,” she says. “The velocity of moving six to seven items per order, the impact that that has on buying and planning is astounding.”

Parents pay $98 and receive a box of clothing. Each item costs around $14-$16, and parents can return items they don’t want for a refund.

Brands see Kidbox as a vehicle for bringing their brand literally over the threshold of a home.

When shoppers visit Kidbox’s website, they fill out a style questionnaire about their child. Kidbox’s proprietary algorithm will then select the items that are included in a shopper’s box.


The startup has a team of 20 employees split between New York City and Tel Aviv who are constantly working on tweaking the algorithm so that shoppers get only the items they want.

“They have developed an algorithm that takes all the answers to those questions, puts it up against our catalog, and serves up the perfect box,” she says. “From there we have a team of personal stylists that looks at the box that the algorithm put out, and they put the human touch on it and tweak it. Our vision is for the data science to do 80% of the work and humans to do 20% of the work. The customer receives the box, they go into their account, they tell us what they’re returning and why, and that feeds into the algorithm, and the algorithm gets smarter so our customer stays with us.”

Offering a growing assortment of brands and clothing items isn’t just beneficial for Kidbox’s business model, Berardelli says.

“In this day and age of (retail) doors closing, brands see Kidbox as a vehicle for bringing their brand literally over the threshold of a home,” she says. “That’s a household that may know about that brand but hadn’t considered it, and now it’s in their home and the child is trying it on and the child loves it and now that brand is revered in their home.”


Miki Racine Berardelli

Berardelli took over the helm of Kidbox in August with a blue chip e-commerce resume and years of experience in high-profile positions with high profile brands.

She spent more than seven years at Ralph Lauren Media LLC, No. 64 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, eventually rising to become the company’s senior vice president of marketing. She’s also been the chief marketing officer at Tory Burch LLC (No. 123), and prior to joining Kidbox, she was chief marketing officer and president of digital commerce at Chico’s FAS Inc. (No. 97).

So why leave behind the world of growing established brands for the challenge of building a startup? It’s a question Berardelli says she has been asked numerous times since making her move, and it’s one she can easily answer.


“My happiest days on the job were during high-growth periods,” she says. “I’m a builder. I saw huge business potential and an opportunity to build a world-class team and company culture.”