How did Joe’s Jeans Inc. meet Nasdaq’s requirement that the company’s stock trade higher than $1 for at least 10 consecutive days?
Chief Executive Marc Crossman said he credits four things for last week’s news that the Commerce company was in compliance with Nasdaq again: improved revenue, a new board member, the launch of a more affordable brand of jeans and communication with investors.
“One thing I always hear from Wall Street is you have to communicate your story,” he said. “We made a bunch of announcements all within a month-and-a-half time frame, so I think we’ve done a much better job.”
Crossman and Hamish Sandhu, the company’s chief financial officer, spoke to investors at the 24th annual Roth OC Growth Conference in San Diego in mid-March.
The company had posted its fourth quarter results in late February, when it reported that revenue was up 8 percent above the year before.
At about the same time, the company announced its launch of an affordable brand of jeans, Else. The jeans, which are aimed at young women, will start at $68 and will be sold at 140 Macy’s stores throughout the United States.
In March, the company appointed a new board member, Joanne Calabrese, founder of retail consulting firm JCR3. Crossman said she will help the company, which has specialized in wholesale business, add emphasis on its retail side.
Growing Like Weed
Wittlebee, a child’s clothing subscription service that caters to busy parents, launched in February from the offices of Santa Monica technology studio Science Inc. The company announced last week that it has raised $2.5 million to create a private-label clothing line.
The service asks parents to create online style profiles for their kids. Then, once a month, stylists ship a box of custom-picked items to parents’ doors. The boxes cost $40 each and contain a minimum of eight items every month, including onesies, T-shirts, leggings, socks and underwear.
Sean Percival, founder and CEO of Wittlebee, said the average retail value of one full box of items is about $100. For now, the company buys clothing items wholesale in downtown Los Angeles or through overstock deals. He said he plans to use investors’ money to expand customer service and manufacture simple clothing items.
“Once you realize how cheap you can manufacture clothes, you start to see how much overhead there is in that industry,” he said. “I saw how we could do this more efficiently for the consumer.”
Science Inc., whose founder Michael Jones was the former chief executive of Myspace, backed Wittlebee’s initial launch, but the company reached out to other investors to fund the creation of the clothing line.
The majority of the $2.5 million investment came from Rincon Venture Partners, a venture capital firm in Santa Barbara. Other investors include firms CrossLink Capital, Google Ventures, SoftTech VC and Morado Venture Partners, and L.A. angel investor Matt Coffin.
Percival signed a lease for a 3,000-square-foot office and warehouse space in Culver City last week and will move this week. The company has five full-time employees, but Percival said he expects to hire 10 more by the end of the month.
Rocker Gene Simmons of band Kiss opened his El Segundo restaurant Rock & Brews last week with partners Dave Furano and Michael Zislis. The rock-themed restaurant has more than 40 craft beers on tap and hundreds more by bottle or can. Simmons and partners plan to open four more Rock & Brews in 2012 and additional ones in 2013. … Creative studio and production house FifthLA opened March 29 in downtown Los Angeles. … Hollywood antiques store Yellow Aster Mercantile Co., which has been known to source movie props for western movies, announced on Facebook that it is working to sell all its stock in preparation to close the store for good in July. The store, which is typically only open a few hours a day, has been operating for 44 years. … L.A. fashion designer and retailer Jenni Kayne opened a boutique at Brentwood Country Mart. It’s her second; the first, opened in 2007, is in West Hollywood. … Korean restaurant Bibigo opened April 2 in Beverly Hills. The upscale nontraditional eatery is the second L.A. location.
At Your Service
West L.A.-based Classic Party Rentals, the biggest event rental company in the nation, announced last week that it has named Jeff Black chief executive. Black formerly worked for 17 years at Aramark Uniform Services in a variety of roles, most recently as vice president of customer care and general manager of Aramark Japan. The company said its former chief executive, Pedro Mata, who led Classic Party Rentals for two years, will retire. … Luxury hotel company Dorchester Collection named Denise Flanders general manager of Hotel Bel-Air. Flanders was previously general manager for the Four Seasons Chicago. Before that she was general manager for the Four Seasons Atlanta. Hotel Bel-Air reopened last October after two years of renovations. … Stan Shaffer, former vice president of manufacturing for Torrance-based King’s Hawaiian Bakery, has been promoted to vice president of baking. Shaffer has been at King’s Hawaiian for six years. … Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, operator of Hotel Palomar in Westwood, named Richard Hodge executive chef of the hotel’s restaurant, Blvd 16. Hodge was previously at San Francisco restaurant Puccini and Pinetti.
Staff reporter Bethany Firnhaber can be reached at email@example.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 235.
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