Eden Outfitters is a fair trade clothing store in Brown County. It manufactures its clothes in China, but says it wants to bring that business back to the U.S. So owner Randy LaVere is asking for help using a website called Kickstarter.
“It’s huge, if you don’t have access to capital as a small business you will fold up quickly. Kickstarter, really when we came across the site we just saw it as an opportunity to not only gain exposure for the brand but also raise the capital that we need to convert to US manufacturing,” LaVere says.
Kickstarter encourages people to pledge money for a cause. In return, businesses offer gifts to their contributors. Eden Outfitter’s for example, is offering organic cotton socks, totes, and shirts. Through the site, Lavere has raised more than $12,000 to convert his business to U.S.-based production.
“You could see the money coming in, we got an update every time someone pledged. It was really exciting, and we were down to the last three hours before the campaign closed before we were completely funded,” he says.
Lavere and his wife grew up together in Brown County and opened Eden Outfitters in 2009. They say it will take around six months to start full production in the U.S.