The idea behind Raven + Lily was born from my experience working with large nonprofits and years spent styling in the film industry, plus a personal belief that a business can be a means to alleviate poverty – not just turn a profit.
Raven + Lily currently helps employ over 1,000 women in the world including Cambodia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan and the USA. We partner with women with a certain set of design skills and collaborate with them using their local materials to design high-end apparel and accessories.
I discovered the company needed an infusion of capital as we continue to partner with women in more countries and produce new pieces for our collection to keep up with new retail partnerships. When thinking about sources of capital and listening to key mentors, I determined it was time to do a Series A investment round. However, my biggest fear was giving away too much equity in my company so I decided to combine the equity raise with some debt.
We have a great relationship with a local bank, but because we are an unusual business we weren’t getting sufficient capital to meet the needs for our growing business.
“Able’s loan model was exactly what we were looking for — we liked the opportunity to involve Backers, people who believe in our mission, to help fund a portion of the loan to help us empower women through design.”