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Karmaloop CEO Greg Selkoe talks about growing the e-commerce company, and making Boston more hospitable for young entrepreneurs and artists [Audio]

Posted by Scott Kirsner  February 6, 2013 08:15 AM

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I had the chance last week to do an on-stage interview with Karmaloop founder and CEO Greg Selkoe, at the annual MITX E-Commerce Summit. Karmaloop was Selkoe's first startup, and it was born in his parents' basement in 2000. It's now a collection of apparel sites for the super-stylish, based in the Back Bay, with almost $200 million in annual revenues and 250 employees in Boston. There are also offices in Copenhagen, Paris, New York, and Los Angeles.

We talked about the history of the company...the site's design... raising venture capital... how they obtain merchandise and fulfill orders... the strategy of creating ancillary brands like PLNDR and MissKL... customer service... Boston as a major center of the sneaker business.... his collection of 500 pairs of sneakers... and Future Boston Alliance, the non-profit Selkoe created to help make Boston a more welcoming city for entrepreneurs and creatives of all stripes.

The audio runs 30 minutes. It's one of the funniest and most unpredictable interviews I've ever done with a CEO in public. But beware: Selkoe drops a few f-bombs during the course of the talk.

I last wrote about Karmaloop in 2011: "Up-and-coming sites may make Boston a leader in e-commerce."

(The photo above was taken by Debi Kleiman of MITX.)

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Innovation and technology news that matters, on a new website from the Boston Globe, featuring Scott Kirsner and other original reporting.

About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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