Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 29, 2024
San Francisco's Dare Fashion Suffers $300K Loss in Major Burglary, Entrepreneur Vows ResilienceSource: Benjamin Wang and Stefanie Gesiorski / GoFundMe

San Francisco's Dare Fashion, a niche online clothing retailer, was hit with a massive robbery on May 1, culminating in a loss of $300,000 in equipment and merchandise, as reported by KTVU. Entrepreneur Ben Wang, who has operated the business for 17 years, faced the largest break-in of his career, which left the company's future uncertain.

Wang, who founded Dare Fashion right in the heart of San Francisco, expressed his sorrow in an interview, "It makes me feel sad to look at this, because it's kind of an end of an era." However, he is not letting despair take the reins. According to his statement obtained by KTVU, he allocates "15 minutes to really feel sorry for myself... and then start to make a plan and start to deal." In what appears to be a meticulously planned theft, intruders reportedly accessed Dare Fashion's office by cutting through the plywood of a boarded-up unit on Market Street, making off with valuable electronics and the company's best-selling items.

The specifics of the stolen goods include 1,000 necklaces, 1200 costumes, and numerous electronic devices necessary for the daily operations of an online store. According to a KTVU report, the stolen products were pre-packed in rolling bags for sale at the upcoming IVth Gathering: A World Goth Day Celebration in Alameda, where the company had intended to showcase their most popular merchandise.

Despite this setback, the community's support at the World Goth Day event was a silver lining for the entrepreneur, as Wang shared with KTVU, "I don't know what the future holds for my company, I'm pretty determined to try to stay if I can." The loss, unfortunately, included two of Dare Fashion's tent-pole styles, driving 85% of the website traffic and sales, as highlighted on the business’s GoFundMe page.

Amidst the grim reality that the company's insurance was liability-only, hence covering none of the property losses, Wang has embarked on a campaign to raise funds for recovery. The GoFundMe initiative aims to gather resources to replace stolen equipment and merchandise and start a podcast that chronicles the company's resilience, titled "Tough times don't last, tough people do." As he reached out for support, Wang conveyed a plea to the community: "If Dare Fashion has ever made you feel more confident and/or made your day, please consider making a contribution and helping us survive."

While Dare Fashion deals with the ramifications of the burglary, its resolve to hold on to its roots in San Francisco remains. The company has relocated to a more secure office space in Japantown, but its commitment to local manufacturing and ethical fashion stands strong. As Wang faces the "dark night of the soul" moment, he stands steadfast with optimism and a call to the spirit of enterprise that has defined the company for nearly two decades.