One year ago, Esby Apparel, Tommy’s Superfoods, Good Seed Burger, and Chi’Lantro became some of the first small businesses to revolutionize the way they grow, raising a total of $400,000 with the help of friends, family and Able.
We were excited to catch up with the founders on their Able-versaries one year later, and to learn all the ways they’ve grown since being funded last October.
Funded: October 14, 2014
Esby Apparel creates flattering clothing for women inspired by the comfort of menswear, designed in Austin and produced in New Orleans. Esby is part of the slow fashion movement — meaning quality over quantity. The owner, Stephanie, designs and produces timeless pieces that can go from season to season, and day to night.
In the past year, Steph designed and produced three more collections and is prepping to go into production on Esby’s fifth collection. Earlier this year she hired her first full-time team member, and is looking forward to bringing on another full-time team member by the new year.
Esby spent summer 2015 in its first retail space, hosted by men’s luxury boutique, Billy Reid.
Steph told us,
“Sales were better than ever in the summer shop, so we recently moved our offices out of my home and into our very own flagship. I couldn’t be happier with our growth this past year, and we owe it to Able and our growing customer base. Thank you, Able!”
Austinites, be sure to visit their new space at 1601 S 1st St. They converted an auto body garage into a bright and minimal retail and office space.
Funded:October 22, 2014
Tommy’s is a food company based in Austin, TX. Their delicious frozen superfoods are non-GMO verified and certified vegan.
“The Able loan helped us keep doing what we needed to do to support new distribution and grow our business. If we hadn’t had the Able funds, we would have missed those opportunities and also missed out on hundreds of thousands of revenue for the year.” —Tom
Good Seed Burger
Funded: October 27, 2014
Erin Shotwell and Oliver Ponce created Good Seed Burger after experiencing the benefits of a whole foods diet themselves. They make nutrient-dense sprouted superfood veggie burgers for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike.
Since they got their Able loan, Erin and Oliver have doubled their revenues and store placements, and are expecting to grow another 50% by the end of the 2015.
They’ve established major distribution in the Southwest, Rocky Mountain, and Northern California regions, and are currently approved to launch in Whole Foods Northern California at the beginning of 2016, with other regions pending approval. With all this growth, they’re in the process of adding a salesperson to their team with over 15 years of industry experience.
The pair have also developed two new products for release at the beginning of 2016. They’ll be adding both products to Kerby Lane menus in Austin this month.
CEO and co-founder Erin told us,
“The Able loan was an important step for us to create traction for our raise that we just closed this summer. It funded the launch of a Whole Foods region early this year so we could prove the product on a larger scale in Whole Foods. Making the case for expansion with Whole Foods was also key to expanding major distribution. We are currently being considered for other Whole Foods regions and other major retailers to expand further outside the two regions we are currently selling in. We have some new skus we are finalizing to launch at the beginning of the year. It is an exciting point that we have reached with the momentum, resources and team to move forward over the next quarter and into next year!”
Funded: October 29, 2014
Chi’Lantro started out as an Austin food truck with the goal of bringing Korean-inspired BBQ to the masses. Loved by locals for his signature ‘Original Kimchi Fries,’ founder Jae Kim used his Able loan to help finance the buildout of his first brick and mortar location then expand into a second one. Since opening, Jae Kim has doubled revenue.
Know a founder who’s ready to take their business to the next level? Refer them to Able and we’ll give you $500 to spend with them.