Oxford gets intimate with start-up
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 00:09
Miami University students will soon have the opportunity to purchase European lingerie from Hush Intimate Apparel LLC, which will open at 5 South Beech St., with financial help from the City of Oxford’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF).
Hush owner and Oxford resident, Anna-Marie Martinez, said the idea to open the lingerie shop came to her a year ago.
“I thought, ‘Well, we’ve got all these other boutiques, and what’s missing here that I really enjoy and girls really enjoy?’ So I thought of a lingerie store,” Martinez said. “I thought it seemed like a pretty good market and fun and different.”
According to her, the RFL made her idea a possibility.
The RLF is intended to help start-up business owners such as Martinez realize their ambitions, according to Oxford’s Economic Development Director Alan Kyger.
The purpose of the RLF is to provide gap financing intended to serve as a secondary financing source, According to Kyger.
“If you could go to the bank and get a loan, we want you to go to the bank and get a loan,” Kyger said. “This program helps start-ups and it’s meant to help people who don’t have a normal source of financing. We’re supposed to help fill in the gap of what a bank will do.”
Kyger said the Oxford City Council oversees the Oxford Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), a committee whose 11 members focus on economic development. Within the CIC is the loan review subcommittee that comprehensively reviews business plans, including expected sales and expenses, according to Kyger.
The program is also meant to help people who don’t have a normal source of financing: it is a process with numerous criteria, according to Kyger.
“[Hush Intimate Apparel] met all of the qualifications required and the loan review committee made a recommendation to the full CIC board,” Kyger said.
There are certain criteria a loan request must meet and, according to Kyger, and more loan requests are approved than not approved.
“[Martinez] is getting $45,000 from the RLF,” Kyger said. “It’s a five-year loan at two percent interest.”
The maximum loan amount is one-third the current loan fund balance, which Oxford’s current loan fund balance is $305,000, according to Kyger.
Martinez hopes Hush will add to the charm of Oxford, and serve as something fun for mothers and daughters.
“Being a lingerie store, we’re going to offer for people to come in and get fitted by appointment,” Martinez said. “I’m going to host bachelorette parties and lots of fun things to keep people interested in coming back.”
Miami senior Caroline Bennett said she believes Hush will provide a great alternative to the popular Victoria’s Secret lingerie collection.
“I think it’ll be cool to have a boutique that specializes in lingerie,” Bennett said. “And the RLF is a great idea to help Oxford start-ups get rolling, especially if there is a sound business plan that allows for the loan to get paid off in the allotted time.”
Hush is projected to open its doors Oct. 1, according to Martinez.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled that the city has helped me,” Martinez said. “It’s a huge opportunity for me.”