Open main menu

Julie L. Wainwright[1] is an e-commerce entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of The RealReal, an online marketplace for authenticated luxury consignment.

Julie Wainwright
NationalityUnited States
Alma materPurdue University




Early in her career Wainwright began working for The Clorox Company in brand management and computer software.[2]

Berkeley SystemsEdit

By 1996,[3] she had replaced Wes Boyd as CEO of Berkeley Systems[4][5] where she was instrumental in changing the company's strategy by making it a leading interactive entertainment entity.[6] As president and CEO of the company, she reduced a two year decline in productivity.[7] She was among one third[8] of the employees that were laid off from Berkeley[9] when the company was sold to CUC in late 1996.[10][11]


Wainwright became President and CEO of,[12][13][14][15] replacing founder, Stuart Skorman. After 27 months, in July 1998, Hollywood Video CEO Mark Wattles announced Hollywood had purchased "in a deal valued at $100 million",[16] which included $30 million in cash to Reel's stockholders; was to continue operating independently, and led by Wainwright,[17] then Wainwright then left the organization to be replaced by Jeff Jordan.[18]


Wainwright was approached by John Hummer of HummerWinblad Ventures to run, she was CEO of when it ceased operations 268 days after its initial stock offering - "one of the shortest-lived public companies on record" according to Kirk Cheyfitz, author of Thinking Inside the Box: The 12 Timeless Rules for Managing a Successful Business.[19] After shutting in November 2000, her husband sought a divorce.[20] Wainwright said that this was a very difficult time in her life: "I had two major life crises in the same week, one public and one private, that sent me on a journey of self-discovery and healing I couldn’t have anticipated."[21]

The RealRealEdit

Wainwright founded The RealReal in 2011, and the company shipped its first orders in June of that year. In a 2015 article, Forbes gave The RealReal a FORBES-estimated valuation of $300 million saying “the startup is in a much better place than ever was.”[22] By December 2017, The RealReal employed 950 people and was estimated to be on track to have around $500 million in annual revenue.[23] As of July 2018, The RealReal had raised $288 million in venture capital funding.[24] The company’s focus on sustainability led to its becoming the first luxury member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 USA.[25][26]

In early 2019 The RealReal announced it would be adding an additional half-million square feet of e-commerce center space in Perth Amboy, New Jersey to its existing e-commerce centers in Secaucus, New Jersey and Brisbane, California.[27]

Advisory RolesEdit

Wainwright is an advisor to Springboard Enterprises’ New York Fashion Tech Lab and Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. She has been a board member of the Headlands Center for the Arts, Magic Theatre and San Francisco Art Institute.


The San Francisco Business Times recognized Wainwright as one of the most-admired CEOs of the year in 2014, and again in 2017 as one of the most influential women of the year.[28] In 2016, Wainwright accepted the Fashion Group International’s award for Innovation in Retail e-Commerce on behalf of The RealReal[29] and won Springboard Enterprises’ Northstar Award.[30] She has been included in the Business of Fashion’s BoF500 for both 2016 and 2017[31], Vanity Fair’s New Establishment list 2017, and Forbes 40 over 40.[32] In 2017, The RealReal received the award for Best-Performing Company in the small-cap category from WWD.[33] In 2018 Wainwright was included in Inc.’s Female Founders 100 list, Entrepreneur’s 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs and Fast Company’s Most Creative People In Business.[34][35][36]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Fitzgerald, Michael. "Woof! goes to the dogs | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  2. ^ SmartNow (accessed April 25, 2009) Archived April 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^
  4. ^ Skorman, Stuart; Guthrie, Catherine S. (February 9, 2007). Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur. John Wiley and Sons. p. 128. ISBN 978-0787987329.
  5. ^ Ginsberg, Steve. "Milken's Knowledge expands with Discovery Centers buy". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  6. ^ Business Week (accessed April 25, 2009) Archived March 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Ginsberg, Steve. "Berkeley Systems wagers $10M on Internet games". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  8. ^ "Berkeley Buy-Out Brings Layoffs". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Who's next? CUC nibbles at Spectrum Holobyte". Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  10. ^ Ginsberg, Steve. "Oracle lays out framework for headquarters growth". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  11. ^ MILLER, GREG (10 April 1997). "CUC Agrees to Acquire Berkeley Systems Inc". Retrieved 18 October 2018 – via LA Times.
  12. ^ "Now Is Really Real". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  13. ^ "REEL BUMMER - Movie Web business collapses after a run-in with dot-com reality". 23 June 2000. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Hollywood 2.0". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  15. ^ "E-Commerce". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Hollywood Entertainment to Buy Reel.Com". Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  17. ^ Pelline, Jeff (July 31, 1998). " goes Hollywood". CNET News. Archived from the original on 2000-01-21.
  18. ^ "10 Tech Pioneers: Where Are They Now?". PCWorld. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  19. ^ Cheyfitz, Kirk (2003). Thinking Inside the Box: The 12 Timeless Rules for Managing a Successful Business. Simon & Schuster. pp. 30–32. ISBN 978-0-7432-3575-4. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  20. ^ Ustinova, Anastasia (June 21, 2008). "Julie Wainwright is so over the dot-com bust". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  21. ^ Miller, Claire Cain (August 1, 2008). "Chief of Is Back, Minus the Sock Puppet". The New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  22. ^ Mac, Ryan. "From Doghouse To Penthouse: The Remarkable Recovery Of The RealReal's Julie Wainwright". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  23. ^ "A look at 42 women in tech who crushed it in 2017". TechCrunch. December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  24. ^ "Crunchbase The RealReal". Crunchbase.
  25. ^ "CE100 USA". Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  26. ^ "The Real Real". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  27. ^ Jacobs, Alexandra (2019-01-23). "Tycoon of the Pre-Owned". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  28. ^ "Meet 2017's Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business". Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  29. ^ "The Fashion Group International's Night of Stars". Beauty Fashion Fragrance. 2016-10-31. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  30. ^ "Springboard Enterprises 2016 Winners Circle".
  31. ^ "Julie Wainwright is One of the 500 People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry in 2017". The Business of Fashion. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  32. ^ Johnson, Whitney. "40 Women To Watch Over 40 Celebrates Possibilities Ahead For Women". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  33. ^ Clark, Evan (2017-09-11). "Rihanna to Speak at the WWD Apparel + Retail Summit". WWD. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  34. ^ "100 Women Making Money, Creating Jobs, and Changing the World". 2018-10-04. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  35. ^ Staff, Entrepreneur (2018-10-23). "The 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs in 2018". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  36. ^ "Most Creative People in Business 2018". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-01-28.

External linksEdit