For Amanda Rinderle ’15 and Jonas Clark ’15, the path to entrepreneurship began in Rinderle’s closet. Before she came to the Yale School of Management, her job required her to wear a suit and she became frustrated that there were no business clothes made from organic cloth and sourced in a sustainable way. This frustration led to an idea for a startup venture: a clothing company as concerned with where the product comes from and how it’s made as how it looks.
The couple (they’re now engaged) spent much of their first year at Yale SOM working on the business plan for what would become Tuckerman & Co. They won a summer fellowship at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, which allowed them to focus on seeing if (and how) their idea could work. Convinced that they had a winner, the pair started raising funds from friends, family, and even faculty, had prototypes made, and launched a Kickstarter campaign, which ends November 27. With their initial Kickstarter goal already met, they’re ready to start cranking up production for a supply line that begins in Egypt (cotton), heads through Italy (fabric), Panama (buttons), and Germany (interfacing for cuffs and collars), and ends in Fall River, Massachusetts (manufacturing).
“This time last year we had an idea on the back of a napkin,” said Clark. “And now we have an actual product and we have customers lining up to buy it. And that’s just super exciting.”