As undergraduates at Temple, John Allen, KLN ’15 and Richard Henne, FOX ’15, started a housecleaning service, created a social app to track parties on campus, and in 2012, founded a clothing company called Boho Outfitters.
While running this startup out of Allen’s basement with the help of their friend and former Temple student Jacob Castaldi, a pattern emerged that they couldn’t ignore: anything with an elephant on it sold quickly.
“That’s how we came up with the idea for Ivory Ella, a clothing company featuring elephant designs that would donate 10% of its profits to charity,” says Henne.
The company launched in April of 2015, and sold out of its first run of 500 t-shirts in minutes. In the years since, Ivory Ella has grown exponentially. So far, it’s raised $1.6 million for Save the Elephants.
As with many startups, the original founding group of Owls has dispersed, but Henne remains full time at Ivory Ella, serving as the company’s chief of staff.
—By Emily Kovach