Hooded Scarves Becomes Sustainable Business With Help From SBDC: Wild Mantle

Avi Loren Fox understands how important it is to find your passion. Based on this perspective, she has combined two of her own; fashion and saving the planet. She has turned her passions into a successful small business, Wild Mantle, which makes hooded scarves from sustainable materials. Even with her growing success, Fox didn’t exactly plan to set the fashion world on fire.

Fox graduated from Temple University in 2010 with a degree in environmental studies and though employed, she found she wasn’t completely happy with current accomplishments. In 2013, the Narbeth native’s homemade scarves began as an impromptu business with Avi Fox making hooded scarves out of old sweaters for herself.

People began asking her where she got the hooded scarf and wanted one for themselves, which is how the hooded scarves she calls Mantles came to be.

When Avi came to the Temple SBDC in 2015 she had just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised enough funds to produce and fulfill her first order of Alpaca Mantles. She needed and was able to secure additional funds to place an order with her manufacturer just in time for the fall/winter season.

The SBDC assisted Fox with market research, her business plan and developed financial projections to enable her to apply for a micro-loan. Her consultant assisted her with the loan package and she was able to receive $15,000 from Entrepreneur Works and $5,000 from a Kiva Zip Campaign. Fox has since received additional funds from a Kick further campaign which was enough for her to place her order in time.

The SBDC’s legal clinic worked with the client to provide assistance with licensing, tax laws, and trademarking the business name.

Wild Mantle’s scarves have been featured on FOX29 News Philadelphia, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, Philly Voice, and Philly Weekly, among others. Fox also gave a TEDx Talk entitled “Take Up Your Mantle”. The company has solidified its commitment to sustainability with a charitable initiative: Wild Mantle donates 1 percent of annual sales to protect the environment through the program 1% Percent for the Planet.

Going forward, Fox plans to expand Wild Mantle to make other sustainable accessories including jewelry, which is available on the website already, alongside the original hooded scarves.