PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 3, 2019 — Color, the inclusive investment fund founded by entrepreneurs Jaime Schmidt and Chris Cantino, announced investments in new portfolio companies this week including The Sill, A Kids Book About, Ethel’s Club, and Live Tinted. Schmidt, who founded Schmidt’s Naturals, and Cantino, have previously founded the company Supermaker together, and invested in companies including Salt & Straw, Wild Friends, Backstage Capital, and BUBBLE.
Included in this round of investments is The Sill, a direct to consumer plants business. Having established its brand with an engaged online customer base of plant lovers, The Sill recently expanded into brick and mortar stores in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
“It’s rare to find investors who are so deeply aligned with your value system,” said Eliza Blank, founder and CEO of The Sill. “Color offers so much more than a check. They’re genuinely challenging us to build something great, by leading by example. Color’s strategic investment in The Sill will help us expand our vision and mission to have a lasting impact on our customers’ lives.”
Additionally, Color invested in A Kids Book About, a publishing company releasing “Kids books that matter.” Co-founder and CEO Jelani Memory came up with the idea after writing A Kids Book About Racism and realizing that parents were looking for books that take on empowering, challenging topics, like belonging, feminism, cancer, and more. A Kids Book About officially launched earlier this week with 12 available titles and the promise of new monthly releases.
“The funding landscape is changing and it’s no longer just about finding capital to fund your business, but rather about finding investors with values and purpose,” said Memory. “I was thrilled to partner with Jaime and Chris at Color for A Kids Book About not only because they truly believed in what we were building, but because they deeply cared about investing in underrepresented founders like myself.”
Color also invested in Ethel’s Club, the private social and wellness club designed to celebrate people of color. Ethel’s Club strives to create community gathering places and give power to marginalized voices and experiences. Color’s investment will support the opening of their first clubhouse in Brooklyn, NY.
“It was important that we brought on investors who understood the gravity and importance of the problem we are solving,” said founder and CEO Naj Austin. “There are so few physical spaces designed with people of color in mind and we are positioning ourselves to be a market leader. From my very first interaction with Color, they got it and were as excited to begin shifting the narrative as we are.”
Another investment in this round includes Live Tinted, founded by beauty influencer Deepica Mutyala. Live Tinted is a brand and community focused on delivering inclusive beauty products and storytelling from underrepresented people about their journeys with culture and identity. Live Tinted launched its first product, The Huestick, in May 2019.
“We founded Color to support more equitable avenues to funding and entrepreneurship for women, people of color, and other underrepresented founders,” said Schmidt and Cantino. “Not only do these investments help enable our portfolio companies to do more, but the businesses themselves are aligned with our mission of promoting inclusivity and positivity through their products and communities. Furthering these mutual goals is our highest priority.”
Color is an inclusive investment fund supporting diverse and inspired founders. Founded in 2018 by entrepreneurs Jaime Schmidt and Chris Cantino, Color specializes in the consumer product industry, brand positioning, and growth strategy.
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