Flowfold draws on generations of Maine craftsmanship to design and make wallets, totes, and other gear designed with the adventurer in mind. The company dates back to 2005, when founder Charles Friedman, then a high school student, used sailcloth scraps to make a wallet to replace one that had fallen apart.
Friedman teamed up with Devin McNeill in 2011 to plan Flowfold’s mission and offerings in a basement workspace. The Flowfold team now includes the founders, a full-time staffer, and two part-time employees.
“Since we first began working with SCORE, we have been able to add two employees, grow sales by 300 percent, and open up 200-plus wholesale accounts,” say Friedman and McNeill. Flowfold’s core values include supporting a local workforce and producing products locally, safely and ethically. “We want to continue to innovate American manufacturing and help support investment into the industry,” Friedman and McNeill note. Flowfold was awarded the 2015 Score Awards Outstanding American Manufacturer Small Business Award.
As college-age business owners, Friedman and McNeill turned to SCORE mentors for perspective and experience. Portland, Maine chapter mentor Nancy Strojny helped develop wholesale strategies, and Flowfold has seen significant growth in wholesale revenue. “Nancy is our biggest advocate and gives us the confidence we need to tackle any challenge,” the founders said.