Au’loni Magazine has the great pleasure of working out of the Quorum, one of
Philadelphia’s most innovative collaborative workspaces. The Quorum is a space
where there are more whiteboards than walls; where a multitude of start up
companies come to work, meet, share, and learn. Here we have a great opportunity
to rub elbows with entrepreneurs and startup companies from every type of
While working, we noticed that no matter how early we arrived or how late
we left, one company in particular was there before and after us every day. They
appeared to be the hardest working team in all of the office. We were intrigued
immediately. It turns out we were working side by side with the innovative new
startup company, Colabination. The company seeks to bridge the gap between hard
to find fashion brands and consumers.
Au’loni Magazine had a chance to sit down with the CEO and CFO of
Colabination, Scott Latham and Ryan Erfer. As long time neighbors, Scott and Ryan
knew each other from childhood, but it was not until college that they discovered
they both had a passion for entrepreneurship.
“In a business sense, it was attraction at first sight, I really admired that Scott
was already working on a business while in school, and that was the direction I
wanted to go,” says Erfer.
Colabination is not the first company that Scott Latham has started, but the
third. The spirit of entrepreneurship seems to run through his veins. He started off
creating a clothing label, moved on to start a lifestyle magazine and is now CEO of
Colabination. CFO Ryan Erfer has a background in venture capital, having previously
worked at UBS Investment Bank.
“For me, Ryan’s knowledge and experience in venture capital opened up a
whole new side of how to run a business,” Latham adds.
Ryan Erfer shared some insight on the inspiration behind Colabination.
“When Scott and I looked back on the businesses he had just created, we decided we
wanted to focus on an idea that was brewing in the background. We were passionate
about solving these struggles Scott had just faced as a designer himself, and wanted
to nurture this idea to help brands gain the exposure they deserve. We just hit the
ground running from there.”
Colabination seeks to empower independent apparel designers from all
around the world. What Colabination has done is create a marketplace where
independent apparel brands from local communities across the globe can be
discovered. For right now they are focused on apparel brands. However, where they
see themselves in the future is much bigger than that. Soon, they hope to feature
small business of all kinds, like those featuring tech products, accessories, home
décor, and more.
Scott Latham talks about the company’s future,
“We want to have a marketplace where all of these makers, doers and
creators have a place where they are not competing against multimillion dollar
marketing budgets, but instead collaborating as a unit. I’d like to say that we are
going to war with corporate America, and while we have an army of one hundred
brands right now, in the future it will be an army of one thousand, and eventually
ten thousand small business owners. When you have that many brands working
together, you can change the way things are done.”
Ryan Efer adds, “We are more than just a market place. We are a network
that facilitates collaborations between brands. We really believe that collaboration
is the future highway for all small businesses.”
Efer and Latham stress collaboration and communication within their own
company dynamic as well. Efer comments on the culture of Colabination,
“Making sure that our vision is aligned and that we are all fighting and
working for the same thing is the core value of the company.”
With a team of just sixteen people, the tight knit group behind the scenes of
Colabination all share the same values.
Scott Latham comments on the importance of the team dynamic of the
company, “While we work hard, we play hard too. We are committed to building
relations outside the workplace. We value and reward not just being colleagues and
we all put in the time to build those friendships and long lasting relationships.”
At Au’loni Magazine we tremendously value advice from the innovators
around us. In tradition, we left the entrepreneurs with one last question, “What is
the best advice you have ever received while starting and developing Colabination?”
Scott Latham summed up his mentality perfectly,
“Get out there, get going, and just do it. What is the worst that can happen?”
Au’loni Magazine will be keeping an eye on Colabination and their journey.
To do the same, check out their website and social media sites.