By Diane Mastrull
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Avi Loren Fox is the founder of “Wild Mantle” a company that creates fashionable hooded scarves and lightweight ponchos. Fox informally started the business after wearing one of her homemade creations and getting rave reviews.
Their paths first intersected at a Main Line coffee shop in August 2015.
Avi Loren Fox, then 27, was absorbed in her laptop, working on her business on the Green Bean’s tiny patio in Gladwyne.
Steve Burt, twice her age, shared a nearby table with his wife, Cristina, talking about sustainability.
Fox overheard them, instantly intrigued. Sustainability was a passion of the 2010 Temple University graduate with a degree in environmental studies, and a priority in her new business, Wild Mantle, producers of fashionable hooded scarves and lightweight ponchos. Fox informally started the business soon after wearing one of her homemade creations into a Narberth tavern in 2013 to rave reviews.
“I very much had my antenna up for like-minded changemakers and entrepreneurs,” Fox recalled of that day on the Green Bean patio.
She found one in Burt, 62, a business-growth expert and native of Wales with a background in environmental economics who had recently launched a software start-up, View13, to provide supply chain transparency. They talked about their businesses but would not reconnect until two years later, when Fox took a bold step that is now leading to another one for her fledgling company.
“I reached out about Wild Mantle and said, ‘Hey, would you sit down and look at this with me?’ Steve immediately got the vision and we started actively working on the growth plan that we are now taking to investors.”
The key word in that statement: We. Once a one-woman start-up, Wild Mantle is growing up. A strong sign of its maturation is that Fox has asked for help.