To Poshmark, With Love

the future of shopping has heart

Stephanie Palmeri
5 min readJan 14, 2021

LOVE. It’s a word rarely used in business. But open the Poshmark S-1, and you’ll read: Poshmark is a social marketplace built on love and community. Since day one, this has been the foundation of our brand.

Over the past decade, Poshmark has become an iconic company at the intersection of social commerce and the circular economy. LOVE has been fueling Poshmark from the very start, and I had the unique opportunity to experience the LOVE of Poshmark in two ways: watching the business grow from the board room as an early investor and seeing the community come to life as an early, active posher.

Photos from the early days of the Poshmark community
Some favorite pics from POSH’s early days: (1) Posing w. Tracy Sun, SVP of New Markets & cofounder, at my 1st Posh Party (2) my closet featured at a Posh meet-up at Acre/SF boutique (3) Meeting new community members w. Manish Chandra, Poshmark CEO & cofounder at Acre/SF (4) Hanging w. LyAnn Chhay, SVP Community, at a “City Chic” Posh Party (5) Celebrating Poshmark’s 1st Birthday w. Tracy

I was among the first 100 beta users¹ in a community that today has over 31M active members. One favorite memory is from the fall of 2011 when I joined Manish, Tracy, and LyAnn in-person at Poshmark’s Menalto Avenue office for a virtual Posh Party — a virtual social event for sharing each other’s listings and shopping together. Back then, the Poshmark community was just starting to grow beyond its initial invite-only beta users, and in the midst of the in-app party, one of our listings was purchased by a new community member. Making a sale gave us a dopamine hit and was cause for bigger celebration — the party construct drove marketplace liquidity and offered a new buyer the social proof she needed to purchase recycled fashion.

This is the virtuous cycle of Poshmark: connecting with one another through shares, likes, and sales leads to more love being shared back to the community.

Posh Parties became a core part of the Poshmark app experience, and local community meetups emerged as a way for PFFs (Posh Friends Forever) to meet IRL. Over the coming months and years, I watched a deeply passionate and loyal community emerge, with members supporting one another by sharing posts, trading tips, and mentoring each other on growing their businesses.

I also had the privilege and honor of serving as a Poshmark board observer from 2011 through the close of their Series D in late 2017. One thing that stands out from conversations with Manish in the boardroom and during our 1:1's was his user-centric leadership that always put the community first. His thoughtful and deliberate decisions — such as being mobile-only in the early iPhone days for an extended time, creating the paradigm of sharing other member’s listing in addition to your own, ignoring pressure to prematurely release “professional” seller tools, and offering a transparent fee structure aligning Poshmark’s success with its sellers — drove engagement and love.

Decisions that put people at the heart of commerce on Poshmark democratized selling, empowering community members who had never sold anywhere before to find friendship and success on Poshmark.

As a result, Poshmark’s seller-stylists brought their personal style to their closets and boutiques. First, this was recycled and unworn fashion with tags from their own closets, then items sourced elsewhere, and eventually new brands, exclusive to Poshmark and created by members. Poshmark became home to one-of-a-kind boutiques driven by the personal style of each posher, a place where luxury, brand names, and everyday fashion could live in harmony just as they do in our closets in the real world. I vividly remember the board meeting when Tracy’s regularly recurring list of Poshmark’s top five brands included one I’d never heard of…. and her revealing it was conceived and launched by a seller.

Poshmark is place where a seller-stylist can connect on such a deep level with her community that she is empowered to bring to life a new brand for them to love in return.

This brings me to today… congratulation to founders Manish Chandra, Tracy Sun, Gautam Golwala, and Chetan Pungaliya, as well as the entire Poshmark team, on your IPO. I love seeing your passion, persistence, and hard work recognized. I’m excited that the power of the community and the love that you’ve enabled will now be more visible as a public company.

Interviewing Tracy Sun, Poshmark co-founder & SVP of New Markets

Finally, I want to thank the Poshmark team for all the love you’ve shown me over the last nine years. Thank you Manish, for embracing me in the boardroom as a young VC and giving me a front-row seat into how the magic is made. Thank you Tracy, for becoming a fast friend and treasured confidant over the years. Thank you LyAnn, for graciously welcoming me into the Poshmark community as you have millions of others. And thank you to all the Poshmark executives and team members over the years who have shared their learning and wisdom with me and the Uncork Capital portfolio community. I’m so grateful to have been along on this journey, and I truly cannot wait to see what the future holds for all of you as you take POSH public.

fav shoe purchases from Poshmark
a few of my favorite shoes purchased on Poshmark over the years, gorgeous photos by the stylist sellers

[1] I’m no pro, but I’ve sold 40 items on Poshmark over the years, and my many more purchases include nearly two dozen pairs of shoes, a ballgown, most of my maternity wardrobe while pregnant with my daughter last year, and a roll of gorgeous removable wallpaper that adorned the walls of my last apartment’s bathroom.

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Stephanie Palmeri

tech junkie. travel addict. food fanatic. music lover. slow skier. venture capitalist. twibling mama. ex-nyc gal living in SF.