Total loan: $10,000
Brooklyn, NY, United States / Retail
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A loan helped help my business staff up adequately for the operational costs of labor, marketing and event planning to extend our artist residency program, host community fundraisers, and work with more local artists, designers, and crafters.
In summer 2011, my college friend Austin asked me to partner in his retail store Ad Hoc. Prior to joining Ad Hoc business growth was stagnant, since Austin’s strengths lay in creative curation. I complemented his creative vision with my entrepreneurial track record at NYC institution Freemans Restaurant, where I established their daytime lunch business (previously non-existent). During my two-year tenure at Freemans, a restaurant which pioneered the craft cocktail and rustic food scene, I rose through the ranks from host to Manager, creating a day-time community of regulars that increased revenue by four-fold within one year. I was excited to bring my passion for growing creative businesses to Ad Hoc, as I always liked clothing and accessories. They are an extension of my lifestyle and principles of multi-functionality, quality, and cultural diversity - a byproduct of my multi-cultural upbringing in Taiwan, South Africa, Austria, and the US. I became Managing Partner of Ad Hoc in 2014 when Austin unexpectedly left the business, as he became a father of twins. Despite his abrupt departure, I decided to use this challenge as an opportunity to reinvent Ad Hoc’s business model. In my 8 years working in the New York retail industry, I saw a gap in the clothing boutique space: a place emphasizing multi-functional unisex clothing, which welcomes people of all walks of life in New York City's wonderful melting pot. At the time, and to this day, most boutiques cater to niche audiences and fast-fashion trends. As such, not only do I endeavor to keep expanding the cultural horizons of our mostly sustainably produced cottage-industry-esque community shop, I strive to continue providing a safe and open space for our customers and neighbors to share their stories - a store full of multi-cultural homages, and a cultural reference for all.