Ecommerce
May 7, 2024

How Thompson Ferrier uses Clearco’s Invoice Funding to create a 20% increase in sales volume which leads to 40% additional net profit

Author
Samantha Lloyd

Funding comes in all shapes and sizes but for most housewares businesses, Clearco provides funding for next season’s inventory, bridging an important cash flow gap for such ecommerce customers. One of those customers is Thompson Ferrier. Thompson Ferrier creates a lifestyle of comfort and style where fragrance and fashion meet through beautifully designed candles and vessels that are trendy while capturing a cozy moment in time.

Owner of Thompson Ferrier, Raffi Arslanian, knows the importance of investing in all aspects of a business: from product design to customer experience through to finance. A financially savvy, second-generation fine fragrance brand builder, Raffi focuses on creating a beautiful product that sells, designing Thompson Ferrier’s vessels and candles himself. Over a period of more than 30 years, Raffi has won multiple visionary awards in design and development. 

Aside from creating beautiful and beloved products, it’s been Raffi’s goal to build a solid business. He never had the goal of racing to the bottom on pricing but rather sought to provide a high quality product at a fair cost to his customer. His business has experienced big swings in market and consumer behavior in the last several years, successfully riding each wave.

Thompson Ferrier finds Clearco through Gary Vaynerchuck’s testimonial

Thompson Ferrier first got wind of Clearco when renowned entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck announced his early investment in Clearco (then Clearbanc). Raffi had been a fan of Gary’s since 1999 and immediately looked into Clearco. 

"Clearco is a game changer. You don't need to put up your house, drown in credit cards or give up a piece of your baby to fund ads and inventory."
  • Gary Vaynerchuck, CEO of VaynerMedia, 5-Time NYT Bestselling Author & Co-Founder of Empathy Wines

Raffi was instantly intrigued. He had been following the financial and ecommerce technology sector for a while and saw the success of Square, Faire.  To him, Clearco fit right in this bucket.

Thompson Ferrier hits over 10x growth in a 3-year period

Thompson Ferrier credits Clearco with being not only a critical capital partner in his journey. Prior to 2019, early in their launch days, Thompson Ferrier was on the Magento platform and exploring what it meant to be a high end housewares ecommerce company. 

With revenue now in the millions, they’ve experienced high growth in a short period of time, a happy outcome which nonetheless often requires going back to the financial drawing board to map expectations and plan accordingly. Thompson Ferrier hit over 10 times their growth in a 3 year period. This is a huge growth trajectory for a company that had just recently launched their brand. This meant the company would continue to need inventory to serve their customers’ growing demand, which led to exploring capital products to fund Thompson Ferrier.

“Suddenly, I didn’t want outside money. I knew Thompon Ferrier had to be built through capital reinvestment or profit - or debt that was not personally guaranteed.”
  • Raffi Arslanian, Owner, Thompson Ferrier

Thompson Ferrier uses Clearco for inventory while considering other ecommerce loan and financing options

Thompson Ferrier has not stopped investing in inventory since the start of their business and explored various ways to fund their vendor invoices. There are many financing options available to ecommerce businesses and no solution is a one-size-fits-all. 

They moved their website onto a Shopify store and took on Shopify Capital, as well. While familiar with Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans, Raffi also wanted to avoid taking that capital on for his business. 

“Don’t borrow money just because. Have a purpose and a way to pay it. Ask yourself, ‘What’s the lifecycle of this money?’”
  • Raffi Arslanian, Owner, Thompson Ferrier

Raffi tracks his daily pipeline and knows every dollar that’s going in and out of his business. The capped weekly payments of Clearco’s Invoice Funding product allow predictability that can be factored into Thompson Ferrier’s growth and financial projections for the business.

Today, Clearco is Thompson Ferrier’s number one inventory funding partner - Clearco’s Invoice Funding product and Thompson Ferrier’s inventory go hand-in-glove. Clearco is a great Invoice Funding option for businesses, even if those businesses leverage other financing options for their business.

“From Clearco, I can take small amounts or big amounts of funding for the business. I’d rather Thompson Ferrier’s profits go to marketing, as I feel more pressure to get a strong return on the investment with marketing when it’s our business’s capital. Funding inventory is the best way for us to use Clearco. If I take capital to fund $2,000 worth of merchandise purchases, then I’ve already sold $4,000 of the goods that are about to arrive.”

Clearco’s inventory funding allows Thompson Ferrier to create a 20% increase in sales volume which leads to a 40% additional net profit for the business

Thompson Ferrier found Invoice Funding to be the right solution to manage their inventory-related capital and increase their inventory orders. They are able to purchase more inventory, whether it’s adding to the size of the order, or adding new product offerings to their line. In Thompson Ferrier’s case, when revenue is increased, so is the net profit. Their fixed costs increase at a much lower rate than their revenue, so being able to sell more products results in higher profits for the business.

“With Clearco, we are afforded the ability to order and therefore sell more products. With Invoice Funding, we can create a 20% increase in sales volume which creates 40% additional net profit.”
  • Raffi Arslanian, Owner, Thompson Ferrier

A company’s cash flow can only be reinvested to a certain extent as companies are capped at reinvesting with what they have on-hand. Clearco’s Invoice Funding allows for an additional capital resource. Thompson Ferrier has the ability to carry the capped fee as part of their product margin considerations. Raffi believes ecommerce businesses should be careful to consider the cost of capital when calculating product profit margins.

“My accountant has mentioned that I'm paying fees I wouldn’t have to pay if I used my own cash. To me, there is a big difference in giving up margin versus giving up a portion  of your company. Not only financially, but your time. I don’t need to dilute my focus and attention speaking with VCs and can instead focus on growing my business.”
  • Raffi Arslanian, Owner, Thompson Ferrier

The other thing Raffi appreciates about Clearco is the ability to choose exactly how much they borrow. Clearco’s Invoice Funding can flex up and down  with Thompson Ferrier’s seasonality. Production of Thompson Ferrier products can take 3-4 months, which means sitting on paid-for inventory for a while until customers purchase.

“If I know I need to pay my supplier, then I go to Clearco. The balance gets paid immediately because it’s already approved. Then I can immediately place my order for my products. By the time I get the inventory and it goes up for sale, I can start paying Clearco during peak season. The anxiety level if I self-funded my inventory up-front would be high. It’s a lot easier and calming to know that Clearco is covering that initial 70% with Invoice Funding.”
  • Raffi Arslanian, Owner, Thompson Ferrier

Thompson Ferrier shared more details about how their ecommerce business (and many others like it) work with suppliers. They must make payments on their peak  season or holiday season product months in advance. This means providing deposits to vendors as many as 8 months in advance. That leaves an immediate bill to pay of up to 70% for the inventory.

Thompson Ferrier states that Clearco has been an integral part of their growth. They are thrilled to have a funding partner that works within the confines of their unique business and can align with their needs.

“You have a lot of ecommerce owners that could use your funding.”
  • Raffi Arslanian, Owner, Thompson Ferrier

What is Thompson Ferrier?

Thompson Ferrier is a luxury candle company based in NYC that creates elegant and fun fragranced candles with soy wax blends, cotton wicks, and natural essential oils.

Who is the founder of Thompson Ferrier?

Raffi Arslanian is the Owner of Thompson Ferrier. A former architect who built nearly 400 single family homes, he fell in love with home goods, specifically tying in his family history in fragrance. Thompson Ferrier combines Raffi’s talents and long history in design, scent, and making your home feel like home.

Samantha Lloyd
Director of Marketing, Clearco

Samantha Lloyd is the Director of Marketing at Clearco. A longstanding marketer in the business-facing technology industry, Samantha focuses on accelerating startup and transformative growth at companies. In her free time, you can find Samantha dreaming of the ocean.