Philadelphia

SA VA – Store Closing – Statement by Sarah van Aken


November 30, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 


DESIGNER
AND SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR SARAH VAN AKEN RELEASES STATEMENT ON HER NEW
DIRECTION AND CLOSING OF CLASSIC-CONTEMPORARY FASHION BRAND SA VA THIS
MONTH
I
am honored to have an opportunity to share recent developments and
choices in direction for SA VA and myself personally with members of the
press. I am grateful to all who have been so generous and fair in their
coverage of SA VA and me over the past four years.
I
have had the most amazing experience through the launch and growth of
SA VA.  As SA VA has grown, my own life changed and progressed. I am so
grateful to have connected with so many amazing women and to the
community that has enriched, inspired and supported me.  Through this
experience, I have become clear about my own hopes and dreams and what I
am really good at.  It was a trial by fire, burning away the impurities
to get to my true self, for sure! 
We
have come to a transition point in the business.  Though our store
sales are up 25-60% for the last 8 months and our uniform business has
been strong (surpassing 2012 sales by September), we were not as
successful in the launch of our wholesale division.  The timeline for
scaling that, which is what we raised money on almost a year ago, was
much longer than we anticipated and much more challenging.  The business
required more capital.
There’s
always another deal, another possibility, that is the one thing that I
have learned through all of this.  Certainly, it is not the first time I
have faced this challenge and not at all out of the ordinary for early
stage businesses.  The business was successful, however, the
amount of capital and time it would take to scale it to the level of
success that I and our investors needed was greater than we were able to
pursue. The hoops that I would have had to jump through and
conditions under which we could have continued were so significant that I
really took some time to reflect on my next personal steps. 
I
have been very clear and centered through all of this, which is unlike
many of the other times I have faced this before and believe me there
have been many times.  Part of that centeredness comes from confidence
in my ability to navigate these situations.  A great part of it is
coming from being clear about my hopes and dreams and what I am good at
within the larger picture of my life.  I am great at building brands.  I
love it and how it integrates in to business.  I am very inspired by
socially driven business and community capital.  In moving forward, I
feel that I need to honor this. 
There
are thousands of women loyal to the SA VA brand.  The belief and
enthusiasm that they created around this brand is wonderful and
overwhelming.  In it proof of the success of the brand. I am so grateful
for all of the support that I have received from our customers and our
community. This experience and their support has profoundly touched me,
made me a better person and certainly a better businesswoman. 
I
imagine that there may be question about the socially driven,
sustainable fashion movement with this news.  I do not believe in any
sense that our closing is a definitive judgement against the possibility
of the movement.  SA VA was in fact a success.  Our thousands of
customers and years of growth are evidence of that.  This choice to
close, is just that, a choice.  Too, you can see this success in some of
the high end denim brands and t-shirt brands who manufacture in the
U.S.  I am happy to elaborate on this in greater depth if you would be
interested. 

I
believe you should always celebrate and honor an ending to create space
for a new beginning.  I hope that you can join me in celebrating the SA
VA retail store in our final weeks as I close out this phase of my life
and welcome the new beginning!

Here’s the things you need to know:

1.BIG SALE!
We have a full store of amazing Fall/Winter product and we will be
having a giant sale on everything in the store beginning on Monday,
December 2, 2013. 
  

2. YOU’RE INVITED!
We are having a farewell party!  We
hope you can join us in celebrating SA VA. Enjoy a fun evening of
shopping the total clearance sale and limited edition Spring 2014 items!
Wednesday, December 11th, 6-9pm. 

 
 3.   SA VA will be closing by December 22nd, 2013.  Come get your last SA VA items while they last
 4.   You will soon be able to find what my next steps are and what projects I am working on at Sarahvanaken.com
Thank
you so much for your support over the past few years.  I look forward
to staying connected as we celebrate both the incredible experience we
have had at SA VA and as I announce what is next!
Sincerely,
Sarah Van Aken