SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento entrepreneur is growing her business by raising capital through a crowdfunding campaign.

Ana Manzano, the owner of the Ana Apple clothing line, won the Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s Calling All Dreamers contest, which gave her free rent for a year.

But she can get an additional $10,000 if she can raise the same amount on her own. That $20,000 wouldn’t come with the fees and interest attached to a business loan.

The sewing machines at Manzano’s workshop get little rest these days, as it keeps up with the several hundred shirts, onesies and bibs Ana Apple sells each month.

“I think I want to take these traditional things and do them in a different way,” she said.

What started as a personalized gift idea for her nieces has become a thriving clothing line that can be found on racks in 17 stores nationwide.

To take the next big step, she’s turning to Internet site Indiegogo to crowdfund additional capital.

“I kind of equate it to one of those PBS telethons, where we are like this is the goal we want to get to and this is why,” she said.

Investors won’t get part ownership in her business. Instead, she’ll be offering perks for different donation levels. She says she wants to do more than give out a free bib. Manzano is looking to offer art classes, or even daycare.

“A parents date. We are offering a voucher at the Firehouse, which will be right up the street and you drop your kid off and we do a movie and craft night,” she said.

The idea would save on interest payments, but it would also allow the community to invest in her business.

“I’m kind of blown away by how much people are opening up their arms to what we are doing and it just feels really really good,” she said.

Part of that money, Manzano says, will go to hiring four part-time positions. She hopes this business model is one that others will follow in the Sacramento region.


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