It’s set to be a time of big change for New Zealand brand Ingrid Starnes, which celebrated 10 years in business earlier this year by announcing a shift in direction, was set to throw open the doors of a fresh store in new downtown shopping precinct Commercial Bay, and this week sought feedback on a proposition for equity crowdfunding.
TEXT: JOSIE STEENHART
“This is our 10th year in business and late last year, before Covid-19, we were very excited to commit to a new store in the Commercial Bay development where we could tell our locally produced story and our limited-edition production idea to new and current customers and friends,” says the label’s co-founder Simon Pound in a post on Ingrid Starnes’ social media platforms.
“With this new store, we were positioned to grow turnover and profitability. And now… well, the retail environment may be a little more challenging in the near-term. However, we have a plan to continue to make clothes here, and continue to grow our meaningful alternative to overproduction. We’re looking to our crowd to see if they would be interested in taking shares in the business to help bolster working capital, grow online with a new website better serving emerging modes of shopping, and make a more affordable locally made offering with more of the little luxuries that do well in all kinds of economic seasons.”
Interested parties are directed to provide feedback via an online form, which includes investment options starting from $250 of shares and a soap gift or $500 of shares, a 10 per cent lifetime discount and a roll-on perfume through to $25,000+ equity to receive wholesale prices and voting shares.
The potential pivot comes not long after Ingrid Starnes shifted to a “more meaningful” production approach in early March and The new ‘limited-edition’ concept was described as “an alternative to over-production.”
“We’re making things either in editions of one, for made-to-measure and bridal, or in no more than 100 for seasonal styles,” explain Ingrid and Simon in a release. “We didn’t want to make more stuff less personally, instead, we wanted to make things that had more value to people. More value, but not more expensive. Our prices aren’t going up. It’s more about providing an alternative in a similar price range to mass-produced pieces, but made with the same care as they are designed.”
The business has also chosen not to register as an “essentials” retailer able to post product immediately during New Zealand’s Level 4 lockdown period, saying their clothes don’t feel “as essential this moment” but that they stood in solidarity with those who were.