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Richer Poorer, a clothing company that narrowly escaped bankruptcy, could reach over 10 million in sales this year
Will Bryant Socks
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- , cult-favorite women's and men's basics brand, was once a successful sock and underwear wholesaler.
- The brand wanted to build out collections and scale its direct-to-consumer operations, and was acquired in 2015 for million by digital sales company Shoes.com.
- Richer Poorer's founders Iva Pawling and Tim Morse found out the new owners were going bankrupt in December of 2019, and bought the company back for million.
- The company narrowly escaped bankruptcy, and is now bigger and better than ever.
- If you ask us, Richer Poorer's best items are their , which are made from a supremely soft and comfortable silicone-washed organic cotton.
California brand is known among its fan base for creating amazingly comfortable basics and loungewear. Its are lusciously soft, as cozy as can be, and as unrestrictive as possible — they sell out more often than not.
But there was a time when the brand almost lost everything.
The company, which was founded in 2010 by Iva Pawling and Tim Morse and invested in by the likes of Patrick Carney from the Black Keys, originally began selling comfortable, cleverly designed socks and underwear to upscale department store retailers like Bloomingdales. After a few years, the business found success as a wholesaler, but the company was interested in scaling to focus more on their direct-to-consumer efforts.
To begin that process, they knew they'd need to raise million capital — but they also knew it was unlikely they'd get anywhere with investment banks that often go for larger projects. So when online retailer Shoes.com offered to buy the company for million total, keeping Pawling and Morse on to manage, they agreed to the acquisition.
Promising to help them with operations, digital strategy, and website development, seemed like a great fit. They'd have access to resources like never before, and be able to focus on what mattered for the future of their business.
That was the hope — until they found out their new owner would be declaring bankruptcy, potentially bringing down with them in the fire.
Pawling and Morse used the strong relationships they had built with two board members and bought the company back with them for million just one month before Shoes.com officially went under (they have since re-emerged with decent success).
After narrowly escaping a certain demise, Richer Poorer managed to rebuild themselves into a cult-favorite basics brand in a strange riches-to-rags-back-to-riches story of resilience.
They are now expecting over million in sales this year alone, and are building out a strong presence in the direct-to-consumer market. Lately, they've launched some fun collaborations that pay homage to their roots as a (mostly) sock brand, like a selection of colorful pairs designed by popular graphic artist .
If you ask us, Richer Poorer's best items are their T-shirts, which are made from a supremely soft and comfortable silicone-washed organic cotton. They have a for women for that's cut at the perfect length, and plenty of , too — all ranging from -.
Interestingly, the brand's laid-back vibe reflects nothing about the company's history. Through tumult and turmoil, they were able to build up a successful identity that represents the most aspirational version of "California cool" that we've seen since the era of Vans' skate shoes — and we've come to love them as much for their story as for their great clothing.
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