Ash & Erie Inc., which makes small-sized men’s clothing, is looking to expand after closing a $ 1.2 million investment round.
The Detroit-based online retailer secured the funds at the end of the summer and doubled its staff with plans to eventually move to a larger office space downtown, said co-founder Steven Mazur. .
The round, announced on Tuesday, was led by Chicago-based early stage investment firm IrishAngels Inc., along with nine other companies, including Detroit-based Woodward Angels. Terms of the deal with the companies were not disclosed. Mazur said he and his co-founder Eric Huang, who were Crain’s 20 and 20 this year, still own the majority of the company’s shares.
Business partners are determined to move from seed to scale – online first, then brick and mortar, eventually with their own store.
“The aim is to accelerate product development,” Mazur said. “Our customers are asking for more options every day and we have a fairly limited wardrobe.”
Ash & Erie has sold over $ 2 million worth of clothing since its inception in 2015 and has grown its revenue by 200% on average every year since its inception. The startup got a boost in 2017 after appearing on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank” and landing a $ 150,000 investment from billionaire Marc Cuban for a 25% stake in the company. Detroit-based business mogul Dan Gilbert is also an investor.
The retailer sells men’s clothing that is 5ft 8in and shorter, with waist sizes ranging from 28in to 38in and inseam from 25 to 29in. She started selling dress shirts and spread to flannel, jeans, sweaters, T-shirts and jackets. Over the next month, she plans to launch an expanded line with Henley shirts, T-shirts, chinos and jackets. Dress shirts sell for $ 88 and jeans for $ 158, according to its website.
Ash & Erie delivers to over 30 countries, but most of its business is in the United States. The clothes are made from “premium materials” and made mainly in China, Turkey and Guatemala. The company plans to move some of the production to Los Angeles, Mazur said.
In the past three months, the company has hired four full-time employees for product development and marketing. His team of eight, including the co-founders, is based in a coworking space at 1555 Broadway St.
Mazur said Ash & Erie is looking for a permanent office downtown but has yet to decide where. He said he was also looking to hire a few more marketing staff next year.
The company has raised approximately $ 1.6 million to date and is open to further investment from “partners who believe in our vision and our growth potential,” Mazur said. They are also looking for potential partnerships with retailers, although nothing has been solidified.
Ash & Erie expects another 200% increase in sales next year. The company declined to provide income figures.
While it focuses on online sales, brick and mortar might not be far behind.
“We are always open to different ways for customers to touch and smell our clothes and experience our brand in person,” said Mazur.