Wayfair, Boston's Next Big IPO Candidate, Adds New Executive Creative Director

Thursday Jan 23, 2014 by Dennis Keohane - Senior Writer, VentureFizz

With a ton of focus being paid to Care.com's IPO tomorrow, one of Boston's other [and maybe even bigger] possible IPO candidates, Wayfair, today announced the addition of Christiane Lemieux as its new Executive Creative Director.

Lemieux, was formerly the founder and Creative Director at DwellStudio, a modern home furnishing and design company that Wayfair acquired in the summer of 2013.

As the press release for the announcement stated, Lemieux will add her "creative vision and counsel across the e-commerce leader’s growing portfolio of home brands including Wayfair.com, AllModern, Joss & Main and DwellStudio." Additionally, Lemieux "will draw upon her extensive background in design and product development to head up a number of new creative initiatives for Wayfair in the coming year." And, we expect this to be a big year for Wayfair.

The native Canadian started her career in the fashion world working for Isaac Mizrahi and later for the Gap. Lemieux then left fashion for home furnishings joining New York home company Portico as its Design Director, and eventually launched DwellStudio in 2000. As the Wayfair press released commented, Lemieux built DwellStudio into "a lifestyle retail brand known for groundbreaking design and impeccable quality in modern home furnishings." In 2012, she was named as one of the "Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs" by Fortune. 

As Wayfair's co-founder and CEO Niraj Shah said of the appointment, “Christiane has an amazing eye for home design and a deep understanding of the home furnishings industry.”

“As an entrepreneur, and artist," he added, "Christiane will drive the creative direction of our home brands from a unique vantage point. She is passionate about home and offers a creative vision for the company that transcends any one style or design aesthetic.”

Lemieux said of the company and the move, “Wayfair is breaking new ground with the development of Internet based home lifestyle brands. The transition of DwellStudio into the Wayfair family has been an eye opening experience to the infinite possibilities that e-commerce brings to the home furnishings world."

"I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting movement to create and hone lifestyle brands across a spectrum of design aesthetics," she added.

"It’s the ultimate exercise in creativity as we bring great home design and endless options to the market in a completely new way.”

Wayfair has added a few other key players and built a bigger public presence recently, as many people suspect, in preparaton for its IPO sometime in 2014. Word on the street is that there are a few more interesting additions and moves that we'll soon be hearing about in regards to Wayfair as well.

Although Care.com is getting a ton of attention for its IPO tomorrow (rightly so, being the first Boston tech IPO in a long while), I believe that the day Wayfair, who surpassed $1B in revenue in 2013, goes public will have a more profound affect on the Boston tech ecosystem in terms of creating a ripple effect of "Wayfair Mafia"-backed companies being started. 

Dennis Keohane is the Senior Writer for VentureFizz. You can follow Dennis on Twitter (@DBKeohane) by clicking here.

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