We Wanna Be Friends With: Susan G. Koger, Modcloth Founder
Our city is chock-full of interesting people and wild personalities. Overwhelmed by the coolness? Every week we'll pick one standout local we'd love to be friends with to answer seven essential questions about their life in San Francisco.
In a city where internet booms and busts are a dime a dozen, it's awesome to come across a person with such an inspirational road to big-time success. Susan started Modcloth in her Carnegie Mellon college dorm with now-husband Eric as a way to sell her excess vintage finds. After graduating the two expanded their selection to new apparel, and today they carry over 700 independent designers, all of which retain full rights to their designs (aka none of this). Susan's goal is to create a socially-driven marketplace that not only empowers indie designers, but the community who wants to shop them.
Under Susan's creative direction Modcloth has created a "Be the Buyer" program, which gives their consumers the ability to vote an item into production, and we love how they encourage their ladies to post pictures of themselves in Modcloth apparel (even if they hate it), making it easier for other shoppers. When so many other fashion companies default to elitist company culture, Modcloth is the exact opposite. It's incredible how Susan has created such a wonderfully inclusive and welcoming culture around her brand, and it's fabulous to see how positively her consumers respond to it.
Big thanks to Susan for taking the time out of her incredibly hectic schedule to answer our We Wanna Be Friends With Q&A!
1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood?
I’ve been in south Noe Valley (almost Glen Park) for just about 3 years. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of moving, but it doesn’t seem to be in the immediate future. This is my first SF hood and life is good here.
2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?
This is such a hard question to answer. My appetite is ever-changing and dictated by so many things, like the weather or my mood. It feels like there are literally endless options in this wonderful city.
I’m going to totally cheat and list some of my current favorites: lemon ricotta pancakes from Plow for brunch, the omakase sushi dinner from Chef Tim at Ichi, green enchiladas from the El Huarache Loco stand at the Alemany Farmer’s market, pupusas from Balompie Cafe #3, and dry fried chicken wings from San Tung. Each is amazing in it’s own way.
3. What's your perfect night on the town?
My perfect night would involve three things: great food, great drinks, and live music. I just saw Zoe Keating at The Chapel, a newer venue in the Mission that I really like. It’s always fun to just wander around the Mission and see where the evening takes you. Lately, Locanda is usually on the list.
4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time?
My husband and I love to take our dogs, Winston and Blue to Fort Funston for a day of walking and talking. The dogs love it and it’s always great to unwind near the sea. Last time we were there we saw a pod of dolphins playing in the waves! I’m a relatively new transplant to California and experiences like this still blow my mind. I always find myself asking, “how cool is it that we actually get to live here?”
5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?
Anywhere new! I haven’t been to Point Reyes yet, so that’s next on my list.
6. Quick-fire round:
Burrito or Burger?
Presidio or Golden Gate Park?
Golden Gate Park.
BiRite or Mitchell's?
Even though Mitchell’s is dangerously close to my house, BiRite.
Bike or MUNI?
Fort Mason or Dolores Park?
The Independent or the Fillmore?
Baker Beach or Ocean Beach?
7. Three words that describe your life in SF?
Busy. Lovely. Delicious
Want More Susan?