Rosenthal & Rosenthal, a commercial finance company specializing in factoring, asset-based lending and PO financing, has finalized a new factoring deal with the owner of the popular lifestyle brands Vissla, Amuse Society and D'Blanc. SES Industry Insight talked with Paul Naude, CEO for the Stokehouse brands Vissla, Amuse Society and D'Blanc, and Maria Contino, Senior Vice President and Western Region Sales Manager for Rosenthal, to learn more.
What are some of the benefits to surf and skate lifestyle brands of working with a company like Rosenthal & Rosenthal, which has a long history with the action sports industry?
Maria: Surf and skate companies in particular understand the need to get creative and find innovative ways to stand out in what has become a very crowded market. Rosenthal knows what companies need to succeed in a challenging environment and we have the ability to lend aggressively against receivables, inventory, purchase orders and other assets so that our clients can focus on growing their businesses. We provide the kind of flexibility companies need to take the next step in building their brand and, most importantly, we believe in — and support — the people behind the brand.
How does this deal support the Vissla, Amuse Society and D'Blanc brands?
Paul: Having the support of a partner like Rosenthal, one of the most trusted and experienced factors in the country is a big plus for our lifestyle brands. In addition to lending fully against our receivables and inventory, Rosenthal, a privately held firm, offers personalized attention and other customized efficiencies, something that's not only refreshing but also beneficial because it allows our people to focus more on growing the business.
As we look ahead, what do you see for the future of financing for the surf/skate lifestyle industry?
Maria: The surf and skate industry has witnessed some of the toughest years yet on record. Companies are facing challenges like slow-paying customers and retailers that are compressing prices and requesting markdown allowances to lower costs. The market is saturated and shelf space is limited and it’s unlikely that dynamic will change anytime soon. In order to stay above the fray and be successful, surf and skate companies need to focus on building compelling brand stories that help to create emotional and personal connections between their products and consumers, continue to be innovative in quality product development and expand distribution channels.
Paul: When the market is volatile and things are unpredictable, it doesn’t matter how big or small your company is, everyone feels it in one way or another. Over the years, I’ve learned that the brands that don’t constantly look for ways to innovate and adapt to the changing demands of the market and their customers will be the ones that struggle to stay afloat. Challenging times demand exceptional ideas, tireless effort and the kind of risk taking that forces you to step outside your comfort zone. The brands that do this successfully will be the ones that stand out and cement their position in the industry.