Peekaboo Beans (PBB.V) CEO Traci Costa has been in more newspaper and magazine articles this month than Jennifer Lawrence, it seems, and in catching that media wave, her direct sales kids clothing company has brought a new audience to the Canadian investing scene.
“We wanted to raise capital for expansion and allow ownership [by] our sales force,” Costa told Vancouver Sun business journalist Jenny Lee this week. “This gives them the opportunity to be shareholders of the business that their hearts beat strong for already.”
And they have indeed become shareholders. Every one of Costa’s 20 employees, she says, has taken a stake in the company now that’s it’s gone public.
Opening day trading Thursday took the company stock to $0.99 on debut.
PBB raised just over $1 million in a recent financing, on the back of $3 million in unaudited sales for 2015. Costa says the company will be breakeven in 2017, but right now she’s focused on continued growth, something all that press will no doubt help with.
She’s shown up at just the right time. As Aritizia’s terrible, pointless, bad for business IPO looms, bringing with it no doubt a lot of first time shareholders, and bagmaker Mezzi (MZI.V) continues its march to celebrity endorsement-ville, and athletic apparelco RYU (RYU.V) announces its plans to open four more stores to compliment its pilot outlet in Kitsilano, Vancouver’s fashion scene is surging a little.
The Aritzia IPO is a big pile of nasty right in the middle of it all, however, as details emerged this week that IPO stock will be non-preferred, meaning new shareholders will have little say in the way the company is run. In addition, the money raised will all go to founders, not the company itself, which claims it’s going to double sales next year, a claim that has as much legitimacy as Donald Trump’s claim that ‘everything is great downstairs.’
But PBB is catching on a little. I bought some stock on the open market this morning as a decent medium-term punt on the CEO’s smarts and my undying belief that anything catering to new moms and quality is going to benefit from A1 word of mouth.
“I really wanted to create an investor revolution in women and be able to empower our reps to become owners in the company,” Costa told Business In Vancouver this month. “It has to be more than just me. It has to be everybody under the same mission and vision.”
UPDATE: Peekaboo Beans closed the day at $1.10, up 10% on the day.
— Chris Parry
FULL DISCLOSURE: I bought some.