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Babson Business: FINROO

Name of business:  Finroo| Swim Against the Tide

  Finroo strives to be the number one distributor for limited-edition expressive garments sold directly from artists to consumers. We do not sell products; we sell living pieces of art. We will begin in the apparel industry, and then move to any canvas that our technology will enable us to print on.

Began in:  2009

Where: Boston, NYC

Founder: Eric Yohay; ; (516)902-8911; One-year Babson MBA ’09

Employees: 3

Founder’s Past Life/Business:  Eric Yohay, President and Corporate Development

While attending Northeastern University, Eric founded his first company Orecovery. Orecovery is an asset recovery management company aimed at helping electronic distribution companies manage their stressed, open box, refurbished, and aged goods. After graduating Eric was able to grow this company to three employee’s with average monthly sales of $50,000. He was in charge of acquiring new clients, formulating the company’s growth strategy and selling strategy, and responsible for all technology related aspects of the company. This company later branched into selling TV’s through real estate brokers. Eric sold the company in September 2008 and is graduating from Babson’s One-Year MBA program to focus on the creation and launch of Finroo.

How The Idea Began:  “I realized two things.  One, all my artist friends had these huge unused portfolios of artwork.  And two, people were buying things from small boutique shops because they wanted something that no one else had.  We just connected the two.”

Initial Preparation to Germinate Idea:  “We polled over 100 artists to ask them what kind of outlet they wanted.  We then tested over eight manufacturers’ garments on our consumers and tested three printing companies.  Once all three were perfect, we launched the business.”

Favorite Thing about the Business: “Every time we sell a product we help an artist, a charity, our consumer, and ourselves.  Everyone is a winner.”

Worst Thing About the Business: “I keep ordering new samples to test but end up wearing them instead. I have about 100 different off-blue long sleeve shirts that never made it to the sample room because they sit in my closet.”

Biggest Challenge: “Trying to sell high quality products via the internet.  The consumer can’t touch and feel our work until we actually ship it to them.”

Lesson Learned:  “It doesn’t matter what I like, it matters what people buy.  I have to strip my emotions away and just concentrate on the numbers.”

Eric Yohay
Finroo | Swim Against the Tide