Get to Know Dan Hockenmaier, Faire’s New Chief Strategy Officer

March 28, 2024  |  By Faire

We’re thrilled to announce that Faire’s Head of Strategy and Analytics, Dan Hockenmaier, has been promoted to Chief Strategy Officer. Dan began working with Faire as an advisor in 2017, shortly after the company was founded, and has been instrumental in guiding some of Faire’s biggest strategic decisions. As Chief Strategy Officer, he will continue to lead the Strategy & Analytics team at Faire, focused on empowering every team to make better decisions for our customers and the business.

Dan brings more than 15 years of experience, spanning time as a consultant at Boston Consulting Group, Director of Growth at Thumbtack, and ultimately founding Basis One, where he worked with many of the world’s leading growth-stage marketplaces. Faire acquired Basis One in 2021, bringing Dan and his team on board to build out and scale Faire’s analytics and strategy function.

Over the course of the last seven years, Dan helped drive trajectory-changing impact for the company and our customers. He led Faire’s first-ever expansion strategy before joining the team full time in 2021. His deep historical context on Faire and overall expertise on marketplace businesses has been key in identifying key growth levers for the business.

Read on to get to know more about Dan and his impact at Faire.

What are you most proud of during your time at Faire?

I’m proudest of the team we have built. During the first four years I worked with Faire as an advisor, and we got to tackle hard strategic questions together. But it wasn’t until I joined full time that I also got to start building out our Strategy & Analytics team. We went from only five to more than 40 people today, and the team is full of some of the smartest and kindest people I’ve ever worked with.

Because the nature of our work is solving hard problems, we tend to attract people who are deeply curious, not just at work but in all parts of their lives. We have a segment in our team meetings dedicated to a team member teaching the rest of us a skill they know deeply. We’ve learned how to bake, how to apply Bayesian statistics, the proper way to eat an apple, and the anatomy of a good trivia question.

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Choose where to work based on the team and the company, not the role or the title. 

Prior to Faire I had spent most of my time leading growth teams, and saw myself continuing down that path. When I started working with Faire there wasn’t really a role that fit that path. But I knew that the Faire team was probably the strongest team I’d ever worked with, and that the business had a rare mix of a huge untapped market and customers that loved the product. So I just focused on being as helpful as possible. That ultimately grew into the role I have today, which I absolutely love but wouldn’t have thought to seek out.

What are you most excited about for Faire’s future?

There are so many opportunities for us to continue building and supporting our customers. Everywhere you look, there is something we haven’t tried or some part of the product or experience we can make better. It makes working at Faire really exciting but simultaneously really difficult because we know we have to prioritize what we pursue at any given moment. 

It’s always fun to take on big launches like bringing Faire to new categories and new counties. One of my personal favorite programs is Open with Faire. Every year, 75,000 new retailers open their doors in the U.S. alone, and this program helps them get started.

But the thing I’m most excited about is the long road we’re on to continue making it easier and easier to buy and sell wholesale. We’ve made a lot of progress, but being an independent retailer or brand is a very hard job, and we have a huge opportunity to continue increasing the ways we support them and their businesses.

If you could open your own retail shop, what would you sell?

It would have to be a nursery. Since moving to Marin a few years ago I’ve embraced the suburbs and now grow all kinds of things like avocados, citrus, berries, and passionfruit. My daughter and I make regular trips to our favorite local nursery to buy plants and absorb their wisdom on how to not kill them, which I estimate we achieve about 70% of the time.

I’d love to start a shop like this, and with the help of Faire I’m sure I could also carve out some room on our shelves for some choice home goods and specialty food.

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