After the crowdfunding: Jascha opens the first store

After the crowdfunding: Jascha opens the first store

 

We went to Jascha’s newly opened store in MOOD Stockholm to see what the hype is about. A year after their crowdfunding on FundedByMe we got a talk with Jonas, one of the founders:

How long have you been working with fashion?

I’m born with fashion. My mom is a designer. She’s been working with it since I was a kid. My older brother is Jascha. He started the brand 12 years ago, then me and my other brother started this company 5 years ago. We had a store at Odenplan before, where we had a mix of fashion and interior decoration, but wanted a pure Jascha store. We have built this store to show what Jascha stands for, we can present the whole collection and concept in a unique way. We are going to develop it more, and if it succeed’s, this store will look totally different in six months from now.

What is Jascha all about?

Our focus is fit and quality with distinct details, which is unique. There are many brands that work similar but more minimalistic. Not many in Sweden works with the distinct details like we do. The typical Jascha customer is a business woman, 30-35 years, that has good economy, although it’s not expensive. A dress is 1 200 – 1 600 kronors. Its not more expensive than our competitors.

What’s your plan?

To expand. This store is an experiment. The plan is to build a small chain of stores to start with, in Stockholm. The city is big enough to hold several stores. Then we will evaluate after a couple of months. The most important with the store is not the cash, but to see what potential it has. You have to be alert all the time, it’s an industry in constant change. You are on your toes all the time.

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Last year you raised 500 000 SEK on FundedByMe, what happened after that?

Our pitch was to increase gross sales and export, which we did. We reached the goal for turnover that we had in the prospect. I got into crowdfunding when I was at a party and a friend of a friend said he planned to start a campaign for his website. I got interested since i had been thinking of how to raise money in an easy way. I googled FundedByMe and saw there was soon to be an introduction meeting, so I went. I knew I could present it well but was unsure of how many investors that was connected. I got surprised of how many serious investors there was in the network.

How much is ethics involved in the making?

It is important but difficult in this industry. We have barely no production in Asia, where it would be hard to control it. We work in Eastern Europe so we can go visit the factories easier. It’s  a murdering competition in this industry when it comes to production. If I would make this product Fairtrade etc, I would have to charge a whole lot more for the clothes. In difference from other products, people dont value ecological and ethical products when it comes to clothes. When people buy food they are willing to spend more for that kind of products but it havn’t reached our industry yet. I think the mindset will come more to clothes too. We work with ecologic materials like viscose that is way more friendly to nature than cotton is.

Jonas gives a tour of the store including it’s many custom built solutions, made by themselves:

There are still some things to be installed. It’s gone very fast. We are just seven people in the company including store clerks. The four people in the office do everything from designing, marketing to going to fairs. We are known for being very fast and it’s all about focus. We signed the contract for this store just six weeks ago, opened the doors yesterday and will throw a inauguration party here in two weeks.

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Crowdfunding Angel Investor – Q&A with Anette Nordvall

Crowdfunding Angel Investor – Q&A with Anette Nordvall

When I met Anette Nordvall the first thing I noticed about this crowdfunding angel investor was her long, long hair. Then the rest came through – bubbly giggles hiding a serious interest in the financial world – and in helping entrepreneurs grow and succeed. Anette is quite a traditional angel investor, but never think ‘old school’ and Anette in the same sentence! This crowdfunding angel investor has embraced crowdfunding – and FundedByMe – and is helping us spread the gospel. Here’s more from Anette Nordvall:

Crowdfunding angel investor Anette Nordvall

Introduce yourself – what is your background, passions and ‘day job’? 
I’m your #Crowdfunding #Superstar – I’m a Serial Entrepreneur, Investor that loves sales and making deals. Spending my days as CEO at Programmera Mgm, a Swedish company that focuses on helping improve people’s digital strategies with easy to understand back-end solutions. As a partner in Stockholms Affärsänglar we focus on early stage seed investing. FundedByMe is a great forum for what’s out there…for finding the ‘Next Big Thing’.

I love sales, closing deals, paying it forward, honest people, step-counting, good health, a positive can-do attitude, coffee, my bike and being back in Sweden after many years abroad.

How did you first get familiar with crowdfunding and why does it appeal to you? 

I’ve spent the last 17 years with my family living in the US. Our sons started crowd investing in games and such a long time ago. The beauty in paying $10 in pre-money…even in the days of only having access to reward-based crowdfunding, I was already convinced the idea worked. I met with Arno and Daniel (FundedByMe co-founders) a couple of years ago when they first introduced the idea of FundedByMe and was looking for funding. The power of a group effort is compelling. Smart money can come in both small and large doses. Depending on product, service, or offer it can make or break success. It has to become the new thing what people are talking about. The crowd automatically provides you with ambassadors to spread “your gospel”. Being part of change in a group is fantastic when you understand what it does.

Which project(s) on FundedByMe did you invest in? What made you want to get involved? 

FundedByMe (of course), Elinnovation, Nerdy by Nerds Jeans, Postify, Eggs Inc and Beibamboo, so far…

What do you expect to get out of these investments on the long run? 

A lot, of course! Both from the entrepreneur and campaign and also from what I can add to the investment. Although my main focus is to make sure that the entrepreneur, product and investment is sound, I do invest with my heart. You might call it social investing, spreading the good word or inspiring others to do the same. The receiver/entrepreneur however must agree, understand and appreciate group power, their network, investing interests and goals. Amount should not matter in a crowd, it’s the attitude.

What is the most important tip you’d give other investors considering crowdfunding? 

I have to emphasize that it’s not only money involved. That is just the basic. Whatever project you are involved in has to strike something within you to address and help solve and use your experiences. The need to engage yourself in the project is crucial since you also have the opportunity to make improvements, not only use your network to add new opportunities, but also truly add value as an ambassador and spokesperson for the product, service or idea.

Are there any new investment rounds on FundedByMe that you have your eyes on at the moment? 

I think I’ll pass on any investment advice! However, since I am a music and new product- lover, and have invested before in that nische, I’m curious about the community Follow-music and Frily.

Please feel free to connect with me via: @nordvalla

Crowdfunding angel investor Anette Nordvall on FundedByMe

Alf Rehn – Interview with a crowdfunding investor

Alf Rehn photographed in Helsingfors.My name is Alf Rehn, and I’m a chair of management and organization at Åbo Akademi University. In addition to being an academic, I’m a strategic advisor, author, speaker and an utter popular culture nerd. 

How do you see the opportunities of crowdfunding?

I think crowdfunding has the potential to be truly revolutionary, and I think we’re just seeing the first steps of it. We’re in an experimental phase now, where a number of different ways of doing crowdfunding are all looking for that perfect balance. Once we’ve been able to figure out how to balance the needs of entrepreneurs, the needs of investors, the needs of fans and communities, and the needs of the “just curious”, then crowdfunding will be a very, very difficult model to beat. We’re all looking for ways to engage meaningfully, to help create things, and (why not?) maybe making a little profit while you’re at it. What’s not to love?!

Which project on FundedByMe have you invested in? What made you want to get involved? 

My currently biggest “play” has been to support Beibamboo, which is a hyper-cool project in functional clothes for babies. I’ve always thought that we need to pay more attention to innovation in fields outside of the obvious, and an innovative idea in the baby sphere excited me. I also loved that a project with such an amazing story could be made into a shared story, that we could buy into the change rather than just hope that it’d succeed.

What do you expect to get out of this investment on the long run?

My investment in Beibamboo was for me a very cheap way to get into social entrepreneurship. I don’t really care that much about whether I’ll make a profit, or even get my money back. I wanted to support something that deserved to be supported, and if my investment leads to even one premature baby getting better treatment, that’ll be enough for me. Don’t get me wrong, if my modest investment in Beibamboo in the end makes me a ton of money, I’ll be OK with that too… 😉

What is the most important tip you’d give other investors considering crowdfunding?

Look for people with dreams, the ones who are driven by a passion. Successful crowdfunding is, in the terms of Seth Godin, establishing a tribe, and a tribe needs a visualiser at its heart, somebody who wants to realize a big vision. Invest in people – and remember that crowdfunding allows for you to not only investing in an entrepreneur, but an entire community…one you’re part of creating. 

Are there any new investment rounds on FundedByMe that you have your eyes on at the moment?

I’m always looking, particularly for those things that are just a little weird, just a little madcap. Right now I’m going to have to go for a somewhat flirtatious answer: “I may have my eye on something, but it’s too early to say yet…”