with somebody there to mediate.
And we had to agree not to talk
about business outside of work, when
we’re together as a family. Otherwise,
we would never turn it off.
Wofford One thing we’re discussing
now—we’re a couple of years into
managing a business that has been
self-funded to date. When we made
that decision, it felt very right and
natural. But now, as we’re scaling,
it’s more difficult to stay self-funded.
I certainly don’t regret it, but it is a
Minkoff It was about seven years
before we took funding. It was a
really lean time, and I was the first
one to raise my hand and say:
“We need money.” Every week, we
could just barely make payroll, and
my salary was, well, “What’s your
rent and how much is food?” It was
a tough decision. The trend right
now is VC, but there are so many
other ways to grow your business
using other forms of capital.
Wofford We started talking with
investors in 2018. We just wanted to
raise a little from angels, but over the
course of that year, we were sort of
pushed and pushed and pushed
until I was looking into raising a
multimillion-dollar round for a business that was not yet hitting multimillions in revenue. I had to put the
brakes on. But now that we’re partnering with larger retailers like
Sephora, we’re seeing there could be
a lot of opportunity to use a cash
injection to take it to the next level.
Minkoff I think you have to look at
it as: What problems would more
money solve, and what problems
could it cause?
Wofford We’re sold out of our
best-selling product as we speak.
I had to wait for the cash flow to
work so I could pay the manufacturer to release the product. After
this conversation, I’m actually going
to send over the payment.
Minkoff There are creative ways to
fix this. There’s purchase-order
financing. We get 80 percent of our
purchase orders in advance, and
then the bank collects. It takes a lot
of pressure off of us. I think there
are really great credit cards for small
businesses that you can use. America was built on small businesses
that had reasonable, 20 percent,
year-over-year growth—not this weird
venture-funding feedback loop. I
think you shouldn’t take the money.
Hold tight. VCs and PEs are bursting
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