Franklin & Poe Trust Company
My name is Andrew and my partner is Christopher, and we created the idea of Franklin & Poe while we were stationed overseas. Both of us were working in the defense industry, and were frequently sent to hazardous areas. On the hours we had to ourselves, we discovered we had a similar aesthetic, and that we both liked to spend our off-time searching the internet for the perfect pair of jeans, while sipping on bourbon.
We found a lot of jeans, and most importantly, we found that the majority of these jeans were not made in America, in fact, almost all clothing continues to be made elsewhere. We looked among our networks, and found a small group of people who believed that the best products were made right here. Goods and clothing made in America, made by Americans.
Franklin & Poe grew out of a desire to help our communities through providing clothing and goods that best exemplified American-made quality and created more manufacturing capabilities in our cities. Our ultimate goal is to showcase the beauty and durability of American craftsmanship.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Franklin & Poe Trust Company is a retail store opening in September 2016 that is committed to providing our customers with the highest quality clothing and goods manufactured in America. We are dedicated to reinvigorating U.S. manufacturing by creating our products locally, offering a well curated selection of third-party American-made brands; and encouraging the growth of youth skills and knowledge of the arts, creativity, and manufacturing in our cities.
Our goal is to become one of the top independent clothing stores in the country with a highly respected selection of clothing and goods. Our target customers are men and women between the ages of 25 and 44. They are urban, fashionable, and have disposable income. These customers want small labels that are more unique and want to support a social mission. We will fill a retail void for high-quality men’s and women’s casual clothing between New York, NY and Washington, DC. The store will launch this September online. The first brick and mortar store will open in 2017 in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Our second store will open in the Remington neighborhood of Baltimore the following year.
In addition to third-party merchandise, Franklin & Poe is creating our own line of clothing and accessories which will be manufactured locally. It is important to us as a company to help facilitate job growth in a skillset that has diminished because of offshoring. We will do so by designing and making goods that create demand, thus enabling us to build our own manufacturing capability. Franklin & Poe’s goal is to be a positive participant in our community. We feel that we can do more than just provide clothing and goods, but also help in educating consumers on where their clothing comes from.
What is the purpose of this loan?
This loan will help us with our design costs for our own brand. Specifically, we are designing shirts, chinos, and leather goods. Franklin & Poe is working with several designers to create and refine the fit and details, and to create a pattern that we can take to a manufacturer.
The designers we are working with command a fee of approximately $1500 per piece created. Additionally, we must purchase fabric and materials for manufacturing. The fabric we are looking at often have minimum yardage of 500 yards at $5 per yard, or $2500 total. Finally, we must purchase buttons, thread, and interior tags which combined can cost $2-3 per shirt. We expect each shirt to cost around $50-60 to manufacture (including materials). We will seek a markup of 200%. Therefore, a shirt that costs $50 to manufacture will retail for $150.
This loan will give us the flexibility to spend the time to perfect the fit and details of each piece we are creating, to ensure they stand out from other similar products. It will also allow us to choose the best, and right, fabric and materials. We understand that manufacturing in the United States is expensive, so we want to ensure that we are developing the best product possible to create the most value for our customers. The ultimate goal is to build a strong reputation of quality and craftsmanship with our customers. This will help us grow strong while also positively promoting American manufacturing.
Years in operation: 1 year – 3 years