You're probably heard of buzzy new apparel brand ADAY. In case you haven't: The two-year-old fashion startup, founded in London and currently based in New York City, launched its popular leggings in 2015 (and quickly amassed a wait-list of 2,000).
On the heels of closing a new round of funding, which included investment from H&M, co-founders Meg He and Nina Faulhaber sat down with Project Entrepreneur to discuss global citizenship, breaking into the fashion industry, and how they've set ADAY apart from the rest of the pack.
Project Entrepreneur: Both of you have backgrounds in venture capital, and you met while co-workers at Goldman Sachs. How have you leveraged your finance backgrounds now that you are on "the other side" as entrepreneurs raising capital?
He and Faulhaber: We're very excited about what we're going to do with this fundraise. Our backgrounds in venture capital have definitely been beneficial to raising capital-- however, seeing it on the investor side was just one part of the perspective, and being on the other side of the table as an entrepreneur is so much more multi-layered, dynamic and interesting.
We've been so grateful for the entrepreneurs and investors we've gotten to know from our venture days, especially since so many have become big supporters of ADAY as customers, ambassadors and investors. The investor deck and the financial model is really just a small part of the entrepreneurship puzzle.
The activewear/athleisure space is exploding right now. How has that impacted the way you approach fundraising? How do you continue to set ADAY apart from competitors in this space?
Technical clothing (or athleisure or activewear) is the fastest growing segment of the whole fashion market, with a $282 billion market worldwide today. It's an incredibly exciting opportunity for both investors and entrepreneurs.
We don't see ourselves as an activewear brand--our primary focus is creating exceptionally well made clothing that is sustainable, long-lasting and fully versatile, lifting the standards of all fashion and hence, creating the future of clothing. Our mission is much bigger than creating a great athleisure brand.
Our aim is to simplify wardrobes with consciously designed, technical staples. We care about planet Earth and we're serving the ADAY women around the world.
Neither of you has a background in fashion design, and yet H&M is a new investor. What advice do you have for female founders looking to break into the fashion industry with little or no industry experience?
While neither of us has a fashion background, we were our own target group frustrated with the current options in apparel. Some of the best ideas come from people wanting to solve a personal problem.
We didn't know fashion, but we were the consumer which is just as important. When you're looking to break into any new industry, the best advice is to ask a lot of questions, identify experts in the space and absorb everything you can.