Strategy for Smart Expansion: Aerostich

Aerostich is a well-established Duluth-based designer and manufacturer of motorcycle clothing and accessories. Historically, the company has focused on catalog and online sales. At a critical growth juncture, though, it became clear the company needed to offer customers an in-person buying experience – but its customer base was scattered across the country. Additionally, production was hamstrung by the need for new sewing machines.

How can a company add production capacity and expand its geographic footprint nationwide?

With financing, program structure and key demographic insights from the Entrepreneur Fund, Aerostich was able to:

  • Expand nationwide, reaching customers in 10 cities with temporary
    “pop-up” retail spaces
  • Add capacity and streamline production with state-of-the-art sewing machines
  • Initiate facility improvements and add a permanent Rider’s Lounge retail space at its Duluth headquarters

In addition to its new retail outlets, Aerostich is working on website improvements and a new customer-relations initiative.

EFund Fact:
We can issue loans up to $250k (and partner on higher amounts), with more flexible lending requirements and usage terms than those offered by a traditional bank.

Major Financing for a Major Move

Tami LaPole Edmunds, owner and CEO of Art in the Alley, sought financing to enable her to relocate her successful retail business from Superior, Wisconsin, to downtown Duluth – a more suitable and lucrative location. But when she applied for a loan from a conventional bank, the bank turned her down.