Since being founded in 2017, Faire has remained focused on providing the tools and services needed to support independent retailers around the world, helping them navigate the unique challenges of owning a small business in retail. Through Open with Faire, a program specifically designed to provide new retailers with the necessary capital needed to source inventory, Faire has committed to ensuring new retail business owners find success on opening day and beyond. Since launching Open With Faire one year ago in North America, Faire has extended $60 million in credit to over 6,000 new online and brick-and-mortar small business owners.
Independent brands and retailers have persevered through the challenging economic environment introduced by COVID-19. Intuit predicts 17 million new small businesses will be formed in 2022, a third consecutive record year. However, access to capital remains a significant obstacle, especially for small business owners who are historically underbanked. A recent survey from the Federal Reserve revealed that in 2021, only 30% of companies that applied for financing received the total amount requested, down 20% from 2019, and firms owned by people of color were the least likely to receive the total amount requested.
“Now more than ever, consumers are rallying around small businesses – choosing to support their favorite local shops to help create thriving communities,” said Lauren Cooks Levitan, CFO of Faire. “Inventory planning is a unique and often expensive element of opening a retail business, and we remain committed to ensuring these inspiring entrepreneurs start with a strong footing. We look forward to continuing to fuel their growth through programs like Open with Faire.”
Opening a small business requires numerous upfront costs, and it can be difficult to have enough capital leftover to cover inventory, which can total over 50% of opening costs. Open With Faire makes it possible for qualifying businesses to buy up to $20,000 in inventory on Faire, at zero interest so they can stock their stores with confidence and hold onto cash for other essential business expenses like rent and payroll. By helping new business owners maintain a healthy cash flow, the program extends their capital runway as they get started, leveling the playing field for underserved entrepreneurs.
Janel Andersen, owner of Berkeley, California boutiques Bird & Bean and Stitch + Sparrow, leveraged Open with Faire to open a second store location just six weeks after receiving credit from Faire. “Having that credit line, along with thousands of brands to shop all in one place, really helped us get off the ground.” To date, Janel has discovered over 700 brands through Faire.
Similarly, Keri Travis, owner of toy and gift shop Wild Child in Bend, Oregon, leaned on Open with Faire when her pop-up concept was offered a larger retail space. “The Open with Faire program played a pivotal role in helping me open my business. The $20,000 credit Faire offered helped me connect with new brands and purchase merchandise quickly in order to fill my shelves before opening day.” Keri opened her doors in December 2020 and has since placed over 560 orders with brands on Faire.
While the program has had incredible impact thus far, Faire remains committed to expanding its reach to help the underbanked and shape the future of retail around the globe. This year, Faire launched Open with Faire in seven additional markets in the United Kingdom and Europe, including Italy, Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the Nordics – nearly one year after launching operations in those regions. In the year ahead, Faire looks forward to continuing to support its community of 570,000 independent brands and retailers around the world, helping them compete against retail giants a million times their size.