Vendor Case Study Testimonial
Shapewear Company Receives Extra Support From C2FO
January 28, 2021 |
Just like the slimming shapewear InstantFigure designs for men and women, C2FO’s early payment platform brings confidence and control to the apparel company’s daily operations.
The world of fashion is not kind to slow adapters.
Thankfully, serial entrepreneur Monir Jalili isn’t one of them. With more than three decades of experience building a myriad of brands, she’s mastered the art of remaining relevant in an industry that is quick to throw out last season’s trends.
After immigrating to the United States from Iran in 1979, Jalili quickly made a name for herself when she founded her first company in the early 1980s. Since then, she’s owned, operated and sold two notable catalog retail companies, and shaped numerous fledging apparel businesses into multi-million dollar enterprises.
As owner and President of Irvine, California-based InstantFigure, Inc., Jalili oversees a small team of employees who design and manufacture the company’s various shapewear products that span from swimwear and menswear, to sports and evening attire.
But even a seasoned entrepreneur like Jalili needs support sometimes to ensure her business is protected from unexpected cash flow gaps — especially during the uncertain economic climate brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Safeguarding her business
As the pandemic grew last year, Jalili was able to keep InstantFigure’s manufacturing facilities operational by dedicating part of the business to making personal protective equipment (PPE), which meant the company could also continue to fill purchase orders.
The spring of 2020 saw a surge in Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, hitting well-known brick and mortar retail chains especially hard.
“I was concerned that I would be impacted by that,” Jalili said.
Customers that had been paying invoices early or on time were forced to extend their invoice payment terms to 60, 90 or 120 days. As these stores restructured their invoicing to safeguard their own cash during the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus, Jalili decided to turn to C2FO to free up cash in the company’s accounts receivable.
“At the time, I was getting emails from C2FO, and I was very hesitant at the beginning, to be honest, because I thought C2FO was a factoring company that would deduct a lot of my money,” Jalili said. “I didn’t respond to any emails from C2FO, until it finally got to the point that I had almost $40,000 in my accounts receivable. I had heard on the news that many major retailers might be closing or going bankrupt, so I got kind of panicky and thought I should take this money right now before anything happens.”
C2FO Supplier Relationship Manager Ashley Stevens walked Jalili through the process of requesting and receiving early payment through C2FO’s platform.
“Ashley was amazing — very patient and very helpful,” Jalili said. “She told me, ‘Let’s just test one of your invoices first and see if you’re happy with what your deductions are.’ She explained that I could do this on-demand and allocate whatever invoices I wanted to get early payment.”
Jalili accelerated over a thousand orders and accumulated only $170 in fees.
“It worked out very well, me and her together. I implemented the percentage that I wanted, assigned all of the invoices and got paid,” Jalili said.
Diversifying her brands
Jalili’s constant innovation and reinvention is evident in the many brands she has created.
In 2006, Jalili sold two mail order catalog companies that featured a collection of swimwear, evening wear and sportswear for women of all ages, and shifted her focus to shapewear, or undergarments that help create a smooth silhouette and sculpted look.
Recognizing a void in the men’s market for these slimming and supportive products, Jalili spent two years researching and developing a comfortable, compression fabric that would appeal to this untapped audience. Insta Slim, a line of apparel that offers men multiple garments with slimming and support zones, and I.S. Pro USA, athletic apparel with the same smart fabric, were born in 2009.
Jalili said she was surprised to find her company flooded with requests for a line that catered to women’s shapewear needs. She quickly capitalized on the success of Insta Slim, turning the company’s core product — a lightweight, breathable compression fabric — into nearly a dozen different brands.
“When I found that the ladies were buying our compression men tanks for themselves in 2013, I used my experience with design and manufacturing to start InstantFigure,” Jalili said. “We started with our basic staple item, which is the Insta Slim tank, and brought the product line to a variety of women’s shapewear collections that we’re offering today,”
Now, InstantFigure is the title company for Jalili’s family of brands that includes:
- IS Pro Tactical, concealment garments for service and security members to discreetly and safely carry firearms.
- InstantRecovery MD, a line of garments that help aid in post-surgery recovery and daily adaptive needs.
- ProDogg, a non-medical line of apparel for dogs that relieves stress and anxiety.
“We created a new collection in every sector we thought that this fabric would be useful for our customers,” Jalili said.
That constant evaluation of her brand and market needs has led to an impressive and diversified portfolio. Now, after years of development, Jalili said she and her team are focused on introducing these brands to potential customers.
A role model
As a woman entrepreneur, Jalili is passionate about giving back to the community and empowering other women to succeed.
She embraces opportunities to serve as a role model for many emerging young professionals, including as a keynote speaker at the American Women’s Empowerment Symposium. Jalili also serves as a member of several associations, including The National Association of Professional Women, The National Association of Women Business Owners and the Iranian American Community Group.
“We are all here to help each other and to build each other up, not only on a personal level, but a business level as well — especially with everything happening during (the pandemic),” Jalili said. “This experience has shown me that unity and helping each other can make a big difference in all of our lives.”
To learn how C2FO can help your company bridge cash gaps and accelerate payment, visit https://c2fo.com/vendors/.