This couple turned $10,000 into an $800,000 clothing business

Personal Finance

In 2011, the pair quit their desk jobs in San Francisco. Beaudet had been working as an office manager, Roberts as a photo retoucher. Both were eager for a change. “We wanted to think of something we could love and do together and we decided to start a business,” Beaudet said.

But Beaudet and Roberts had only $10,000 to start. “We knew we had to bootstrap it, which meant we had to cut all expenses,” Roberts said.

The pair, then engaged, sold a lot of their possessions, including their car, so they could move to Maine to live largely rent free with Beaudet’s brother.

They started with a website selling a simple button-up shirt in a few fabrics and colors. In that first year, they rang up $40,000 in revenue, Beaudet said. Looking back, “it felt very touch-and-go, but we were really committed to trying to make this thing work,” she added.

The same could be said for their relationship: In 2014, they tied the knot in a small ceremony at Beaudet’s parents’ house (she wore a J. Crew shift dress off the sale rack.) From there, the future started to look brighter.

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