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Why Crowdfunding?

October 14, 2018

Aloha,

In my last email I shared with you that health challenges had pushed me towards entrepreneurship. This week I thought we could focus on my decision to crowdfund the launch of Ojala Threads.

I began planning Ojala with the help of the NYC SBA. I completed their Fastrac Course and built a board of advisors made up of the talented folks I met during the process. My business plan became a personal obsession! don't believe me? read it. But once it was done, and my designs were ready we needed to launch. But I couldn't, because I didn't have the money. I knew I would have to get creative in order to make Ojala a reality.

Because I had been referred to disability my income had taken a significant plunge. Over the three years that I had been waiting on disability benefits my monthly allowance, issued by the Human Resource Administration, has been $175 a month. But don't fret! I also get $215 towards shelter costs. With income this "conservative" I knew that I wouldn't be able to personally fund the launch of Ojala Threads. My first choice was to pursue grants.

For months I applied to numerous grants, I even became a finalist in a few! But I didn't win any. I don't know what I could have done differently. One idea is giving up meat since I lost $10,000 to a butcher and $10,000 to a jerky maker.

I also considered getting an investor, because I don't want to give up meat. But I quickly accepted that I was not interested in giving up a portion of my company. The market value of our idea is undeniable.
  • Baby clothing is the only category within retail that continues to expand.
  • Latina mothers are dissatisfied with their current shopping experience.
  • Heritage is a fashionable parenting tool that clothing manufacturers are ignoring.
In my business plan you'll find additional evidence of my genius. But after eliminating angel investors, I moved on to loans.

Remember when I mentioned the three year wait period for disability? that doesn't include the two years leading up to being deemed "unable to hold a traditional job". I worked odd jobs, and used my savings to get by. Full disclosure I also used credit cards to cover expenses. Eventually the minimum payments became too much and I made the decision to apply for bankruptcy. Gasp. I know. I went from six figures to broke! Like a rapper, but less blingy. I prayed that my financial sins would be overlooked and applied for a $2,500 loan, enough to launch our first design.

I was approved for the loan, but the monthly payment of $150 would leave me with $25 for my living expenses. I couldn't accept the loan. Then the butcher beat me. Yes, a butcher. The eBay Start Up Cup winner was a butcher.

So here we are, at crowdfunding.

I have joined thousands of other Americans asking for money because I am out of options. However, I have created some awesome rewards, so you give and you get! isn't that the way giving should always work? I know I've asked before BUT please make a donation to our campaign of at least $5. Our next milestone is sourcing, with what we raise this month we will order our next 300 bodysuits! preparing us for our next run.


In the meantime I will begin shipping out rewards later this month, starting with bodysuits! See you on my supporters list! Follow us on Instagram or Facebook to see which markets we'll be at over the next few months. Next time we'll switch gears and start talking about our designs!





Why did Ramona turn to entrepreneurship?

October 1, 2018

If we haven't talked in a while the fact that I am launching a clothing line for babies might seem bizarre. So let me share with you how we got here.



Ankylosing Spondalytis. The end.



AS entered my life when I was about 20. I felt symptoms but downplayed them. Instead I accommodated my pain. Back rests, foot rests, sleeping on heat pads, only wearing supportive shoes. Over time I expanded my needs to make sure I could function. My performance never suffered but at night I would return home feeling like a truck ran me over.



When my contract at DOD ended my body crumbled under the tension I had to hold in order to get through each day. Within a year I confirmed that my spine was herniated, and spurred. Since then my neck has done the same.



So, why launch Ojala Threads? because it provides me with the flexibility I need to thrive.



I envisioned Ojala Threads in the summer of 2017. While I spend most days at doctors appointments, my mind refuses to accept my physical limitations. So I work every day on making our launch a reality. On days like today the pain keeps me from writing emails until 9pm. Luckily, folks read their email at any the time, and they shop for baby clothing all the time!



In the next post I'll explain how crowdfunding became the right funding source for us. In the meantime, please visit our link and support our campaign. If you can't support us with a financial donation please visit our link and share it with all your networks!