My Native Admission Statement: I’m Adam Erlebacher, the co-founder and CEO of Fabric, a digital platform that helps parents secure their family’s financial future with a free will, powerful financial tools, and affordable life insurance. What I enjoy most is working with a group of phenomenally talented people who are on a mission to help empower families. Every day I get to learn something new and I’m truly grateful for that.
How did you get into the industry?
When you become a parent, nobody gives you a financial roadmap. You’re entrusted with this tiny human and nobody tells you how to protect for your family’s financial future. When I became a dad, I was surprised by how time-consuming and confusing it was to buy life insurance and set up a will. I had to meet multiple times with a salesy life insurance agent, and the process took ten weeks from start to finish.
That experience inspired me to build Fabric, so new parents can take charge of their family’s financial security in a few minutes, without complicated language or pushy agents.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
Traditionally, getting life insurance meant paper applications, multiple meetings and phone calls--over the course of weeks. And in the past, paper life insurance policies were hidden in file cabinets and manila envelopes. Over $1B of life insurance benefits have gone unclaimed due to lost or misplaced policies.
Fabric takes a completely different, modern approach. If you have a question, you can chat with one of our licensed insurance professionals and fill out an application in minutes – entirely online. We’ve also helped alleviate the issue of unclaimed life insurance benefits, as that’s a tragedy if it happens even once. That’s why we empower our customers to grant their spouse beneficiaries access to their policy details online. That way, beneficiaries always have access to up-to-date coverage information and a direct way to access Fabric support.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
We just launched a new product called Fabric Vault. Fabric Vault makes it easy for spouses and partners to create a map of their family’s finances and securely share this information with each other so that it is always accessible and up-to-date in case the unexpected happens. Rather than writing down a paper list of bank, investment, 401(k), life insurance, and other accounts, setting up Fabric Vault is seamless and secure. It’s quick and easy to complete on your phone, and you have total control over which details you share.
This was also a product built out of a personal experience. My partner and I had been talking about how we needed to share a list of our financial accounts in case of an emergency. While we had the best of intentions, we never got it done. We built Fabric Vault for busy parents like us, who need a quick and easy way to securely share and store this critical info. We hope other parents get as much value out of Fabric Vault as we do.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
Fabric is a one-stop-shop for new parents to organize their finances with a free last will and testament and affordable life insurance. We want our experience to be easy to understand and follow, seamless and efficient for new parents.
How do you motivate others?
We have five core values at Fabric: Simplicity, Compassion, Joy, Velocity, and Exploration. We talk about these principles all the time and even named our conference rooms after them.
While these principles have served us well so far, there are two that underpin our culture—Compassion and Exploration. At Fabric, we have compassion for each other and for our customers. We have compassion to meet people where they are, whether it is through how we seek to understand our coworkers, design our products, or serve the needs of our customers. Meanwhile, exploration serves as our motivating force. We are curious and creative individuals who are never satisfied. We believe breakthroughs happen when minds are open and efforts are focused. We believe diversity and inclusion are fundamental to successful exploration. These aren’t aspirational concepts; we live them.
Career advice to those in your industry?
It’s important to consider culture from the very beginning. What do you believe in? What are your values? We thought really hard as a team about these questions in our early days, and that choice is paying dividends every day in helping us build a great team.
Tip of the Day: Clock quiet time with your kids early in the morning.
"I have two young boys and they like to wake up super early, like 5 a.m. I wouldn't be awake then by choice. But I love having quiet time with them every morning and we spend about 20 minutes reading books together. Family is really important to me and that time in the morning really helps put things in perspective.
What do you love most about Your City?
I love New York. It has great technology and design talent, and it’s the financial capital of the world. What I love most about New York is its diversity of people and ideas. It’s a center for fashion, art, food, media, science, medicine and so many other disciplines. It’s that unique mix that makes New York such a dynamic and creative place.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
I love dim sum and East Harbor Seafood Palace in Sunset Park is pretty great.