Eco-startup Signs Twenty-Five Retailers in Its First Quarter, Seeks Funding Round

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Eco-apparel startup Live Your Passion Gear launches its organic cotton line, and signs 25 sports boutique retailers. The company has also launched an online media site, and is seeking a round of funding to support growth.

Live Your Passion 2008

The idea is to gain traction with local retailers, promote the brand at major outdoor sporting events, and also plug into online communities of avid athletes. If we do this effectively on all three fronts, we think the brand will meet powerfully in the middle.

Live Your Passion, LLC, announced today that its first quarter of sales effort yielded twenty-five new retail customers across the western U.S. The company markets organic cotton clothing to outdoor sports enthusiasts under the "Live Your Passion" brand, a registered trademark they secured in 2007. The line includes men's and women's shirts at this point, though the company plans an offering expansion in the near future.

Company founder, Shawn Raley, acknowledges that there are presently quite a few brands touting organic cotton, but states that Live Your Passion is different. "Much of what you're seeing right now amounts to existing companies trying to catch up to a movement. We were born in it, and we try to go the extra mile with our products to prove it." Raley goes on to point out that their shirts use only low-impact or water based inks and dyes, and are manufactured in the U.S., two things he says many other companies cannot claim.

Among the retailers Live Your Passion has signed, mostly high end outdoor sports boutiques and specialty shops, there is a sense that the shirts are filling a demand niche: designs that have credibility with sports enthusiasts, but that also embody an eco-friendly message.

One such store is Outdoor Davis, a bustling outdoors retailer in downtown Davis, California. The store signed with Live Your Passion in late April. "We're really excited to add Live Your Passion's new line of organic cotton shirts to our store. Conservation and sustainability are very important to Davis citizens, so we're quite happy to be able to provide this new eco-friendly brand to them," said Leia Matern, Retail Manager at Outdoor Davis.

Asked about the company's growth strategy, Raley points to CEO James Schaffer, an experienced general manager the company recruited to oversee the operation. "I wouldn't call it revolutionary, but we think it's smart," Schaffer says. "The idea is to gain traction with local retailers, promote the brand at major outdoor sporting events, and also plug into online communities of avid athletes. If we do this effectively on all three fronts, we think the brand will meet powerfully in the middle." Schaffer cites the recent Wildflower Triathlon (a large multi-day event with 35,000 attendees) as an event at which the company exhibited with success, as well as the company's media site Are You Living It? which features elite and pro athletes blogging about the company's "Live Your Passion" philosophy.

Schaffer says the company is now seeking outside investors, and points to it as a positive sign. "If we weren't growing, we wouldn't need access to more working capital," he explains. The company did not disclose how much they are seeking.

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James Schaffer

Leia Matern
Outdoor Davis
530-757-2997
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