Calabar Imports, Inc.
My name is Atim Annette Oton, and I am the co-owner of Calabar Imports and I am expanding a division of the business to create a design showroom. It’san untapped territory. Calabar Design Showroom will represent African, African-American and Caribbean Fashion and Accessories Designers in its new showroom opening in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, New York ( I am converting the existing store for this). We will facilitate opportunities for designers to connect with the wholesale market and maintain a physical location for work to be seen by buyers and also for work to be sourced by retail stores and events. Funding will be used to prepare 20 designers and for a trade show so they can sell work. Designers are now in the process of being selected.Designers will be expected to pay both a monthly maintenance fee and a percentage of sales.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Calabar Imports is an 11 year old fashion retail buisiness with four locations: Harlem, Crown Heights, Bed Stuy and Boerum Hill (the site of the proposed Design showroom). Based in the up-and-coming revitalized neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, we are the source for the distinct, select and unique handcrafted items. We offer stylish, eclectic and affordable African and African inspired fashion clothing, fashion accessories, jewelry, home decor and gifts to consumers wanting to create a unique personalized home environment and accessorize their body.
What is the purpose of this loan?
This loan will enable me grow my current retail business into a new area: wholesale. This new division will enable me begin with one trade show selling the work of 20 designers and increasing revenue from 0 in this area to at least $30,000. I currently carry about 5 of these designers and they need to grow by being in other stores and alone cannot afford a trade show and the standard New York trade shows that charge $1000 a month or more.
Our financial contribution for the project is the rent and utilities ($1500) and the expertise of our founder, a value of about $40,000, and we feel we need $10,000 to supplement the project priorities: prepping designers, packaging and trade shows. We envision that these designers will each get into 50 stores at the first show – thus, produce $120,000 -$160,000 worth of sales, of which we keep a percentage of 20-30.
Years in operation: More than 5 years