Santa Rosa, CA
Karen Roberts, the owner of HauteButch, started her business because she had a hard time finding the clothes she wanted to wear. HauteButch is frontiering a new place in fashion and thrives because of word-of-mouth from customers.
HauteButch opened in April 2012, offering their customers a line of masculine and gender-neutral clothing and footwear designed for women’s bodies. Karen’s innovation in fashion led to widespread media coverage, including a piece by HuffingtonPost at the end of 2014.
As a U.S. Navy veteran, Karen utilizes her military training as a business owner. “You have to be disciplined, stay committed, and be able to change course and make decisions on the fly – just like a tour of duty,” she commented. “It’s an easier transition to business ownership than veterans might think.”
OBDC is honored to support veteran-owned businesses like Karen’s, and we’re thrilled when she says her OBDC loan was a “game changer”. “Our loan with OBDC came at a point where we needed more capital to produce more inventory. Our sales were starting to go down because we didn’t have all the sizes and styles our customers were looking for,” Karen recalls. “It was a pleasant surprise to be funded by OBDC. I felt really supported during the process – like OBDC really wanted to help us.”
In addition to inventory, HauteButch was able to hire several employees, allowing Karen to focus on running her business. “Having the support takes so much off my plate,” she says.
You can order from HauteButch online, and they ship worldwide. If you’re curious about what’s new with their business, their Facebook and Twitter are full of photos of fashion available.