We thought we’d check back in with Garnet Heraman, whom we’d interviewed last year, to see what he’s been doing and how his various business ventures are progressing. Unsurprisingly, he’s been keeping quite busy, as a serial entrepreneur does. Here’s what he had to say.
Karina Dresses is going strong. We opened a flagship brick and mortar store in the heart of the Hudson Valley in Kingston, New York, and then launched v2.0 of the web store in October. We are currently making preparations for our 10-year brand anniversary in spring 2017. The others were advisory-type projects, so they just came to an organic close.
A quick glance at your LinkedIn profile shows that you are doing a few other, and typically for you, disparate things: Anvil Venture Partners, MetroButler, and Biba Ventures. Can you tell us a little bit about each of these projects?
Anvil Venture Partners launched in late Q1 2016 as an investment and advisory boutique focused on helping technology startups accelerate the time from seed to scaling. We’ve made two investments so far, with another half dozen under review in our current deal pipeline.
The first is MetroButler, which is growing 40-50% quarter over quarter. Their core offering is very relevant to jet-setting NewsWhistle readers: they are a full-service Airbnb concierge. They provide a white-glove service that does everything (apartment/house listing, photography, guest screening, key drop, and cleaning) required to earn passive income while you’re traveling for pleasure or business. The service is especially popular with millennial business travelers, and is being positioned as a unique employee benefit at companies like Boston Consulting Group and PWC, that increases employee satisfaction and decreases employee churn. We’re very proud of the work the management team –led by CEO Matt Lerner — is doing.
Our second investment, Biba Ventures, is a little less further along than MetroButler in terms of company development. They create technology and mobile gaming content that powers digital playgrounds sold by their strategic partner, the market-leading manufacturer of playground equipment, PlayPower.
Also, how on earth do you have the energy or the time to keep up with all of this?
(Smiling) I focus on being high impact, low touch as far as my work inputs. Doesn’t always work that way, but so far so good.
On to another topic…can you tell us your favorite joke?
Favorite at the moment, anyway. As told by my girlfriends’s 80-year-old dad:
Daughter: Hey dad, are you watching the second Trump-Clinton debate tonight?
Dad: You mean the re-bate?
What is your favorite restaurant in New York (or anywhere else)?
Currently looking at properties in Hudson Valley around Marbletown, Stone Ridge, Accord and High Falls.
My favorite spot is Lekker in Stone Ridge, New York — highly curated global cuisine meets down-home comfort food.
I know you are a big traveler. What’s a place that you have not yet traveled to that you are hoping to go?
Japan — especially the south-central rural areas that are the sites of the oldest ongoing Japanese ceramic traditions: Shigaraki, Tanba, Bizen, Tokoname. And the northeast prefectures known for having most highly prized sake flavor profiles: Nada, Fushimi, Niigata.
What’s the best and the worst thing about living and working in Brooklyn?
Same answer for both — people. Best are the older people who represent the living vestiges of immigrant cultures — African-American, Italian, Caribbean, Turkish, Greek, etc.
Worst are the entitled millennial carpetbaggers driving gentrification in many neighborhoods.
Laura LaVelle is an attorney and writer who lives in Connecticut, in a not quite 100-year-old house, along with her husband, two daughters, and a cockatiel.
Laura can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org