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BDC and IKIRU Inc: Fashioning success

Dan Liu, fashion designer and founder of IKIRU, faced an issue common to many small business owners.

IKIRU is the parent company of the TATSUAKI brand of Japanese-inspired clothing, jewelry and accessories sold in boutiques and department stores in Canada, U.S.A. and Japan. The international popularity of the company’s products had grown so much that orders had increased 200% over previous years. Liu, the first Asian Canadian fashion designer to represent Canadian fashion and his own brand at New York Fashion Week, needed a quick solution to help increase production capacity and meet growing demand.

BDC recognized the company’s potential and the issue of coping with rapid growth. It provided a quick turnaround working capital loan to ease the business’s immediate working capital shortfall. It then further supported IKIRU with an expansion loan to help with international expansion needs. The loan included the added flexibility of a readvance capability.

The company also wanted to boost online sales and improve its digital presence. BDC advisors helped with the Digital Marketing Diagnostic solution, providing practical advice on maximizing digital investment as well as a customized online marketing road map.

With BDC’s support IKIRU invested in production equipment and software which increased production efficiency and helped take it to the next level. The company has since achieved sales revenue of more than $2 million USD per year worldwide.

“My account manager took the time to get to know me and provided customized solutions that personalized my experience,” says Liu. “BDC is always there for me.”