RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Two young women entrepreneurs are helming unique Triangle-based startups that are weathering the pandemic crisis well. Emily Neville is founder and CEO of Reborn Clothing, company, which turns textile waste into new garments. Karly Pavlinac is cofounder of WAAM (We Are A Movement), a startup connecting celebrity exercise gurus with clients and backend support.
Both women are graduates of North Carolina State University, by the way.
Here’s a look at each firm:
Neville actually started Reborn as a sophomore there in 2017. In an interview with WRAL TechWire, she admited that keeping up with school work and running a new company was daunting. “It was really hard,” she said. “College is hard enough, without talking to managers and employees and wanting to grow fast on top of tha while being tied to homework due the next day.”
She said the company really got off the ground in her junior year when she raised the startup’s first investment round and hired her first employees. After that things were a bit easier as the employees handled the day-to-day operations, Neville said
The company takes surplus branded clothing and textile waste that otherwise would be burned, shredded, sent overseas or to landfills, and transforms it into new products. “We have many sources feeding into the supply chain now,” Neville said. “The problem isn’t finding waste, it’s extracting value from it.” That’s what Reborn does.
It takes the unwanted textiles and makes unique new products from them. Many of its clients (more than 70) are universities, which supply surplus jerseys, clothing made for canceled tournaments, dated banners. Reborn makes them into new branded products sold through campus books and online. Universities love labeling them as “100 percent recycled,” said Neville.
Branded clothing makers, she notes, don’t want their surplus or waste products falling into the wrong hands. “We take them and m,ake new products.”
The company is just the start of what will become a growing consumer-facing global brand out of Raleigh, Neville believes.
The company, now up to 15 employees, raised about half a million in backing so far and is currently in the middle of a series seed round with a target of $700,000. It recently received $80,000 from the Wollfpack, the NC State Alumni network..
Neville said the Covid pandemic has not affected the business much. “We’ve already doubled our revenue from last year. We have an agile team that can go to growth no matter what happens.”
WAAM BAMM, EXERCISE!
Karly Pavlinac says WAAM (We Are A Movement) was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the way the whole fitness industry has changed.
WAAM helps celebrity trainers with Instagram and Youtube and other social media followings monetize their fans. In an environment in which classes are not being held, its clients are finding the new virtual exercise platform lucrative.
Pavlinac explains, “WAAM is a virtual fitness app that makes VIP/Celebrity workouts available to the masses. Through our mobile solution, we provide growth and success opportunities for both trainers and individuals-allowing each to reach levels of achievement never-before possible.”
One of the trainers who uses the WAAM technology is celebrity trainer David Higgins. Who has worked with Hollywood stars like Margot Robbie, Samuel L Jackson, and Kumail Nanjiani.
Higgins, she said, “Made $5,000 in his first couple of days live.”
WAMM automates the tedious backend operations for its clients. “We handle pre-launch, launch, video shooting, social media calendars and so on.
The company raised $500,000 from Cary-based CoFounders Capital in May 2019. Pavlinac and CTO Brian Marks are currently its only employees.’We’re going to start our next raise soon,” Pavlinac said.