ABL, LLC dba ABL Denim
Hello, I’m Stephanie Alves, and I live in Los Angeles. I grew up half my life in New York City and half my life in a rural part of Los Angeles so I Iike the ocean and nature but also the big city with all its culture and stimulation. Nothing in between, thank you. I’ve always made clothes and got my first sewing machine at age 10. I never stopped making clothing and it naturally morphed into a career. I see the world through a visual prism in terms of perspective and proportion the way a dancer might see the world through movement. Today I’ve come full circle in my career realizing the full reason I have practiced my craft for pleasure and as well as for a profession- to make clothes for people who couldn’t wear what they wanted to due to a disability. It’s a part of who I am as I grew up with a brother with disabilities. Besides having a small fashion collection and clothing store in New York, I once had an idea for the pet industry- a cat carrier with a litter box attached so I could travel with my cat. I even patented it and brought it to market. Then the 2008 recession hit. I got turned down by some of the best companies in America. It’s in my nature to learn and create and am naturally unafraid of fighting hurdles and risks.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
ABL Denim makes fashionable clothing specifically for people with disabilities that are easy to wear and comfortable. Our jeans combine functional features, and a special fit that is easier to dress in and more comfortable to wear than regular clothing- but actually is clothing like everyone else wears. They are consumer products and daily living aids made for the millions of people that have a miserable time getting dressed. We improve the quality of life for people with conditions including disabilities, Arthritis, Autism, SCI, MS, as well as for baby boomers and the elderly each and every day. We assist the individual or caretaker in ease of dressing and using the bathroom, aiding in greater independence and saving time. We produce non-harmful clothing to prevent skin breakdown and other discomfort. Our products have functional design details that directly address the needs of customers. We’re the only business making adaptive clothing for men, women, and kids with a variety of disabilities. I started this business because my step-sister became a wheelchair user due to two failed back surgeries that left her with nerve damage. She complained she wasn’t getting dressed because it was just too difficult. I offered to alter her clothing for her. When I looked online to see what the choices were for her, the only clothing in the market was geriatric! I knew this was what I should be doing with my years of design and garment construction experience. We have a goal of also making clothing with a clinical application as we are introducing an FDA class-1 approved technology into our clothing that has proven to calm anxiety in children with Sensory Processing Disorder. It could ultimately be used for other anxiety and balance issues for seniors. I’m so proud to have customers like the clothing that is made for their needs but that they also like esthetically. When I have a customer tell me they haven’t worn jeans in many years and how excited to wear jeans like everyone else; it makes your whole day. It makes me soldier on through the growing pains, determined to reach more people and succeed.
What is the purpose of this loan?
We will add inventory in anticipation of the holiday season- $5K
This could help increase our year end revenue by 150%. The profit is still very narrow due to small production runs and being charged high prices. (That’s one of biggest challenges.)
We will be able to introduce several new styles in time for Christmas selling- a jean for maputees and a new wearable tech style. This would be huge for us in terms of reaching more of the disability community.
This will impact my life and the life of my family because they’ve been so supportive of my goals to make this business a success. They seen me work endless hours because there’s so much to accomplish to make it happen.
Years in operation: 3 years – 5 years