Ponybox – MICRO Spring 2022
Published September 14, 2022
As part of our ‘Meet Our Founders’ series today, we introduce Hellen Moffitt, Founder and CEO of Ponybox based in Charlotte, NC. Ponybox is a local clothing rental & delivery service that makes sustainable fashion more convenient and affordable for women.
Q: What problem are you trying to solve and what influenced you to start your company?
A: I’m trying to create a more sustainable alternative to fast fashion. I personally have always been frustrated with the various ways to shop for clothing. I’ve always wanted to wear fun and colorful clothing that express my personality, but hated spending time and money on pieces that I will only wear a few times. Fast fashion brands such as SHEIN and H&M are affordable enough to buy for one occasion, but leave you stuck with a closet full of unworn clothes which feels wasteful. These brands also participate in overproduction and unethical labor practices, which I didn’t want to support.
I loved the concept of renting clothes, but didn’t love the other rental services out there. The fact that you had to ship clothing back and forth was inconvenient, plus there was no solution if the clothes didn’t fit. In my eyes, the solution to this is a local model that makes it more convenient and equally affordable to rent clothes over shopping fast fashion.
Q: What does the road ahead look like for your company?
A: Once we finish validating the business model in Charlotte, I want to expand to other similar markets such as Raleigh, Nashville, Atlanta, and Austin. To do this, we will need to develop a technology platform that will support this growth.
Q: How will your NC IDEA grant funds advance your company?
A: The funds will allow us to finish validating our business model in Charlotte. More specifically, they will help us get warehouse space and a vehicle to use for our deliveries. The warehouse space will allow us to start offering returns and local pickup, which will expand our customer base and lower our delivery costs. The vehicle will allow us to better understand our costs per delivery.
Q: When did you know you wanted to take an entrepreneurial path?
A: I think I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, mostly because I don’t like being told what to do 🙂 In my sixth grade yearbook we were asked what our life goals were, and mine was to own a pastry shop. Even throughout college and during my first job, I always knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to go out on my own one day; I just had to wait until I had an idea to act on.
Q: What is your greatest fear as an entrepreneur?
A: Losing control of my business to people who don’t understand my mission and vision.
While visiting Charlotte, Hellen recommends:
- Grab breakfast at Zada Jane’s in Plaza, check out the breweries in South End, go out to dinner at Mama Ricotta’s, and end the night with karaoke at Jeff’s Bucket Shop.
Support Hellen and Ponybox by:
- I’m looking for help on mobile app development for the logistics side of my business, as well as guidance as I begin the fundraising process. I would love connections to anyone who has experience with local logistics technology businesses (any business that does local deliveries).