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Podcast 21: Bankruptcy to Profit in 10 Months: A Conversation with Karmaloop CEO Seth Haber


Drew talks to Seth Haber about how they rescued streetwear retailer Karmaloop from bankruptcy in just 10 months. What went wrong, how they fixed it, and what they learned from it all.

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EXCLUSIVE RESOURCE: Want the transcribe from this episode? Click here to download it as a PDF.

You may have heard about Drew’s involvement in turning Karmaloop around – from bankruptcy to profit in just 10 months.

But what strategies went into accomplishing this? What growth paradigm were they operating under?

And how did Karmaloop get in that position in the first place?

In this much-requested episode of the Nerd Marketing podcast, Drew talks to ex-Karmaloop CEO Seth Haber about that 10 month period of rapid growth. What they did, what they didn’t expect, and what they learned from it all.


  • Why Karmaloop went bankrupt before Drew and Seth came onboard
  • How Seth ended up as CEO
  • The things Seth didn’t expect to be so difficult about turning Karmaloop around
  • Kanye West’s role in keeping Karmaloop afloat
  • How Drew underestimated how difficult it was going to be to get the marketing platform up and running
  • Winback campaigns – Getting back old customers vs. acquiring new ones
  • Breaking into the footwear market
  • What Seth is most proud of after his 10 months at Karmaloop
  • The value of a company full of people that care about each other

Links / Resources

  • If you haven’t already, listen to this episode on growth paradigms to better understand how Drew approaches eCommerce growth.
  • To learn more about data-driven strategies that grow ecommerce businesses, just sign up for my mailing list.


Prefer to read rather than listen to the podcast episode? No problem, you’ll find a text transcribe below, and you can also download it for later.

Read the Transcript

  • Joe Cochran says:

    Really enjoyed this podcast. Can’t agree more with Seth’s comments about 3rd party retail being more challenging than ever.

    I personally see the big opportunity in the online retail space being in strategic partnerships (Exclusivity) with brands or private labeling. The day’s of being a 3rd party “Me Too” retailer online have come and gone for most industries. As Seth said, it’s hard to compete against the brand your selling. I don’t have much perspective from the brick and mortar retail store side of things but I’m sure they are being hit by this as well.

    Another great podcast in the books. Thank you for keeping these coming Drew.


  • Drew Sanocki says:

    Yeah he’s a smart guy and I wish he had let loose a little more on the podcast. Usually he’s extremely funny and opinionated! But yes, no one ever talks about proprietary distribution but that’s probably THE most important success factor out there.

  • Gemma, says:

    Interested to hear why it’s hard to hire in Boston!
    Loved this. Especially the note on culture. As a Boston fashion tech founder who grew up as an entrepreneur seeing Karma Loop, this podcast was fascinating.

    Also enjoyed Joe’s comments. At Nineteenth Amendment, we allow fashion brands to sell in pre-sales exclusively and manufacture on-demand so avoid those licensing, warehousing and distribution issues.

    Looking forward to hearing the rest of the story!

  • Drew Sanocki says:

    Hey, heard about you guys. Thanks for weighing in!

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