Source fabric. Find a manufacturer.
Raise money to fund production.

Get your free manufacturing checklist and
stay organized from start to finish.

Shannon Lohr, founder of Factory45

Source fabric. Find a manufacturer. Raise money to fund production.

Get your free manufacturing checklist and stay organized from start to finish.

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5 Myths About Starting a Fashion Brand
Can you start a fashion business without a fashion background?
important quality

Welcome to Factory45

If you have an idea for a clothing or accessories brand, then you’ve come to the right place.

Factory45 is an online accelerator program that takes sustainable fashion companies from idea to launch.

Whether you still can’t find fabric suppliers whose minimums you can afford or you’ve made a little traction but are stuck at a deadend, I know there is a way to start a sustainable and successful business with less frustration, less doubt and without wasting valuable time and money.

The brands that launch through Factory45 are proving it.

Over the past five years, Factory45 has helped entrepreneurs from all over the world learn how to successfully bring apparel products to market. I invite you to read more about who I am, how the program works and what Factory45 alumni have to say about their experience.

Applications to Factory45 are now closed and will reopen in May 2020. Sign up here and I’ll let you know as soon as we’re open!

Welcome to Factory45

If you have an idea for a clothing or accessories brand, then you’ve come to the right place.

Factory45 is an online accelerator program that takes sustainable fashion companies from idea to launch.

Whether you still can’t find fabric suppliers whose minimums you can afford or you’ve made a little traction but are stuck at a deadend, I know there is a way to start a sustainable and successful business with less frustration, less doubt and without wasting valuable time and money.

The brands that launch through Factory45 are proving it.

Over the past five years, Factory45 has helped entrepreneurs from all over the world learn how to successfully bring apparel products to market. I invite you to read more about who I am, how the program works and what Factory45 alumni have to say about their experience.

Applications to Factory45 are now closed and will reopen in May 2020. Sign up here and I’ll let you know as soon as we’re open!

Welcome to Factory45

If you have an idea for a clothing or accessories brand, then you’ve come to the right place.

Factory45 is an online accelerator program that takes sustainable fashion companies from idea to launch.

Whether you still can’t find fabric suppliers whose minimums you can afford or you’ve made a little traction but are stuck at a deadend, I know there is a way to start a sustainable and successful business with less frustration, less doubt and without wasting valuable time and money.

The brands that launch through Factory45 are proving it.

Over the past five years, Factory45 has helped entrepreneurs from all over the world learn how to successfully bring apparel products to market. I invite you to read more about who I am, how the program works and what Factory45 alumni have to say about their experience.

Applications to Factory45 are now closed and will reopen in May 2020. Sign up here and I’ll let you know as soon as we’re open!

Meet Shannon,
Founder of Factory45

Meet Shannon,
Founder of Factory45

Meet Shannon,
Founder of Factory45

In 2010, I was starting my own sustainable clothing company. My co-founder and I spent a year and a half trying to bring our product to market. I spent countless hours emailing and calling suppliers without making any traction because, the truth was, I didn’t know how to talk the talk or walk the walk.

As a newbie in the industry, I didn’t know the right language to use when contacting production partners, where to look for the fabric we needed, or how to be taken seriously by industry veterans.

What I did know was that I wanted to create a clothing company that was environmentally-conscious and helped create jobs. I wanted to help change the fashion industry with thoughtful design and ethical manufacturing.

After a year and a half of frustrating dead ends — and a sprinkle of small victories — we finally launched our company. Finding recycled and organic fabrics that fit our sustainability guidelines, and a sew shop in the U.S. willing to work with first-time entrepreneurs, we launched the highest-funded fashion project in Kickstarter history, raising enough money to quadruple our first production order.

Fast forward to 2014 when I created Factory45, the program I needed when I was first starting out.

In 2010, I was starting my own sustainable clothing company. My co-founder and I spent a year and a half trying to bring our product to market. I spent countless hours emailing and calling suppliers without making any traction because, the truth was, I didn’t know how to talk the talk or walk the walk.

As a newbie in the industry, I didn’t know the right language to use when contacting production partners, where to look for the fabric we needed, or how to be taken seriously by industry veterans.

What I did know was that I wanted to create a clothing company that was environmentally-conscious and helped create jobs. I wanted to help change the fashion industry with thoughtful design and ethical manufacturing.

After a year and a half of frustrating dead ends — and a sprinkle of small victories — we finally launched our company. Finding recycled and organic fabrics that fit our sustainability guidelines, and a sew shop in the U.S. willing to work with first-time entrepreneurs, we launched the highest-funded fashion project in Kickstarter history, raising enough money to quadruple our first production order.

Fast forward to 2014 when I created Factory45, the program I needed when I was first starting out.

Take a Tour of Factory45

Factory45 is an online accelerator program that takes sustainable apparel companies from idea to launch.

Take a Tour of Factory45

Factory45 is an online accelerator program that takes sustainable apparel companies from idea to launch.

The entrepreneurs who join Factory45 are given the resources and connections to source fabric, find a manufacturer and raise money to fund production in six months.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Factory45 is made up of five online modules released over four months, to take you from idea stage to pre-production to launch.

Your progress is self-paced so it’s manageable whether you have a full-time job or you’re building your company full time. To make sure you know exactly what you get, the Factory45 program is outlined below by clicking on each module. You can also watch a video tour of it here.

MODULE 1

Sourcing

Module 1

MODULE 1

Sourcing

Effectively research and source the fabric and materials you need to create your apparel product or clothing line.


  • Connections to a database of hundreds of suppliers who sell sustainable fabrics and low minimums.
  • Strategies to get a response from these suppliers, including exact scripts outlining what to say (and what not to say), so that you can build relationships and start confidently sourcing the materials you need.
  • An in-depth understanding of sewn manufacturing, how it works, what you need to know to avoid mistakes and how to efficiently source materials for production.
  • An overview of sustainability so you’ll have a clear understanding of what makes a fabric “eco-friendly” and whether it’s the right fit for your product.
  • A materials inventory template so you’ll know the exact fabric and materials you’ll need to go into production.
  • Training on how to create your sketches and a professional spec sheet — even if you can’t draw!

MODULE 2

Brand Identity

Module 2

MODULE 2

Brand Identity

Identify who your ideal customer is, how to effectively communicate what you sell and learn proven strategies that will get a potential customer’s attention.


  • An understanding of smart business principles that will keep you “lean” and out of debt.
  • A complete brand strategy that speaks directly to your target market and represents the visual identity of your company.
  • A pre-launch strategy that generates customer leads to create ‘early adopters’ of your product.
  • Implementation of the #1 most effective marketing tactic for an e-commerce product launch.
  • A “traffic engine” that will turn interested customers into repeat customers over time.

MODULE 3

Pre-Production

Module 3

MODULE 3

Pre-Production

Connect with top industry designers, samplemakers, patternmakers and production partners that will help you turn your ideas into prototypes and patterns.


  • Connections to dozens of vetted pattern/samplemakers who will work with you to create a “production-ready” pattern and prototype.
  • Guidance and resources for navigating the sewn manufacturing industry as an outsider.
  • Connections to production partners who will happily work with low minimums and pay a fair and living wage to their workers.
  • A cost and budget analysis so you’ll know how much capital you’ll need to go into production.
  • A database of resources for sustainable packaging, hangtags and labels.

MODULE 4

Ecommerce Marketing

Module 4

MODULE 4

Ecommerce Marketing

Ensure that you’ll have buzz around your product launch. You can’t launch to crickets, so you need to learn how to build an audience before you start selling.


  • A tried-and-true content marketing strategy that attracts CUSTOMERS.
  • A media strategy for reaching out to press outlets so you can launch your product with buzz.
  • New social media tactics to connect with your target market and turn them into “early adopters.”
  • Implementation of my top 10 proven launch strategies and how to leverage them for your product.
  • The marketing strategies you should actually focus on, so you don’t waste time and energy on what doesn’t work.

MODULE 5

Preparing for Launch

Module 5

MODULE 5

Preparing for Launch

Test your product at market through crowdfunding and pre-sales. See first-hand how your target market responds to your product and if it makes financial sense to begin manufacturing.


  • A complete plan-of-attack for launching a successful crowdfunding campaign that will fund your first production run.
  • Direction in creating your video, profile page, rewards system, campaign timeline, and goal amount.
  • The insider secrets to creating a fully-funded crowdfunding campaign that most people don’t know.
  • Connections to a database of media and press contacts who love covering new products and stories of entrepreneurs.
  • An exit plan for going into production without the headache, hassle or stress of not knowing what to do next.

PLUS…

The
Bonuses

Bonus modules

Bonuses

Additional resources that are included in the program


  • Daily Office Hours with Shannon
  • Lifetime Alumni Access
  • Live classes with industry experts
  • Accountability Partnership
  • Personal Consulting for 6 Months
  • Bi-Weekly Q+A Calls
  • Two Implementation Months
  • Access to start selling on Market45, an ethical fashion marketplace

The entrepreneurs who join Factory45 are given the resources and connections to source fabric, find a manufacturer and raise money to fund production in six months.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Factory45 is made up of five online modules released over four months, to take you from idea stage to pre-production to launch.

Your progress is self-paced so it’s manageable whether you have a full-time job or you’re building your company full time. To make sure you know exactly what you get, the Factory45 program is outlined below by clicking on each module. You can also watch a video tour of it here.

Module 1: Sourcing

Effectively research and source the fabric and materials you need to create your apparel product or clothing line.

  • Connections to a database of hundreds of suppliers who sell sustainable fabrics and low minimums.
  • Strategies to get a response from these suppliers, including exact scripts outlining what to say (and what not to say), so that you can build relationships and start confidently sourcing the materials you need.
  • An in-depth understanding of sewn manufacturing, how it works, what you need to know to avoid mistakes and how to efficiently source materials for production.
  • An overview of sustainability so you’ll have a clear understanding of what makes a fabric “eco-friendly” and whether it’s the right fit for your product.
  • A materials inventory template so you’ll know the exact fabric and materials you’ll need to go into production.
  • Training on how to create your sketches and a professional spec sheet — even if you can’t draw!

Module 2: Brand Identity

Identify who your ideal customer is, how to effectively communicate what you sell and learn proven strategies that will get a potential customer’s attention.

  • An understanding of smart business principles that will keep you “lean” and out of debt.
  • A complete brand strategy that speaks directly to your target market and represents the visual identity of your company.
  • A pre-launch strategy that generates customer leads to create ‘early adopters’ of your product.
  • Implementation of the #1 most effective marketing tactic for an e-commerce product launch.
  • A “traffic engine” that will turn interested customers into repeat customers over time.

Module 3: Pre-Production

Connect with top industry designers, samplemakers, patternmakers and production partners that will help you turn your ideas into prototypes and patterns.

  • Connections to dozens of vetted pattern/samplemakers who will work with you to create a “production-ready” pattern and prototype.
  • Guidance and resources for navigating the sewn manufacturing industry as an outsider.
  • Connections to production partners who will happily work with low minimums and pay a fair and living wage to their workers.
  • A cost and budget analysis so you’ll know how much capital you’ll need to go into production.
  • A database of resources for sustainable packaging, hangtags and labels.

Module 4: Ecommerce Marketing

Ensure that you’ll have buzz around your product launch. You can’t launch to crickets, so you need to learn how to build an audience before you start selling.

  • A tried-and-true content marketing strategy that attracts CUSTOMERS.
  • A media strategy for reaching out to press outlets so you can launch your product with buzz.
  • New social media tactics to connect with your target market and turn them into “early adopters.”
  • Implementation of my top 10 proven launch strategies and how to leverage them for your product.
  • The marketing strategies you should actually focus on, so you don’t waste time and energy on what doesn’t work.

Module 5: Preparing for Launch

Test your product at market through crowdfunding and pre-sales. See first-hand how your target market responds to your product and if it makes financial sense to begin manufacturing.

  • A complete plan-of-attack for launching a successful crowdfunding campaign that will fund your first production run.
  • Direction in creating your video, profile page, rewards system, campaign timeline, and goal amount.
  • The insider secrets to creating a fully-funded crowdfunding campaign that most people don’t know.
  • Connections to a database of media and press contacts who love covering new products and stories of entrepreneurs.
  • An exit plan for going into production without the headache, hassle or stress of not knowing what to do next.

Bonuses

Additional resources that are included in the program

  • Daily Office Hours with Shannon
  • Lifetime Alumni Access
  • Live classes with industry experts
  • Accountability Partnership
  • Personal Consulting for 6 Months
  • Bi-Weekly Q+A Calls
  • Two Implementation Months
  • Access to start selling on Market45, an ethical fashion marketplace

Applications to Factory45
are now closed and will reopen in May 2020.

Until then, subscribe to receive free startup advice every week.

Applications to Factory45 are now closed and will reopen in May 2020.

Until then, subscribe to receive free startup advice every week.

Hear from Factory45 Alumni

Mary Bemis, founder of Reprise

“I had worked with a few other databases before but always got stuck when I had a question specific to my situation and nowhere to turn. The fact that I could email Shannon at any time, no matter how basic the question, was worth every investment in the program.”

MARY BEMIS

Founder of Reprise

Sarah Armendariz, Founder of Cosima

“The cost of this program paid for itself in the first few weeks. The supplier and production partner lists alone are worth gold to me. I’ve been in the apparel industry for 10 years, and no one has ever shared this much info.”

SARAH ARMENDARIZ

Founder of Cosima

Cara Bartlett, co-founder of VETTA

“If I had tried to launch my company on my own, I would still probably be in the research phase. But thanks to Shannon and Factory45, I created a responsibly sourced women’s capsule collection and launched a successful Kickstarter campaign (raising almost $90K) in under six months.”

CARA BARTLETT

Founder of VETTA

Kristin Salat, Trace Fashion

“Before joining F45, I was just in the idea stage. And frankly, with the fashion industry being so old and closed off, it was hard to make connections with suppliers and partners. I joined so I could gain some clarity, direction, support, and resources and actually start my business the right way. ”

KRISTIN SALAT

Founder of Trace Fashion

Blakely Wickstrom, founder of Gala Maar

“Factory45 was the best step I could have taken while navigating early entrepreneurship. Shannon has designed a clear and concise program that takes the guess work out of so many would-be time and money consuming aspects of starting a business.”

BLAKELY WICKSTROM

Founder of Gala Maar

Kaya Dorey, Founder of Novel Supply Co.

“Factory45 answered all of my burning questions about this challenging industry. I thought that not having a background in design or fashion would hinder my ability to follow my true calling but Shannon assured me it wouldn’t. She’s helped me start my business, been my guiding light and I always felt like she had ample time for my questions and for me.”

KAYA DOREY

Founder of Novel Supply Co.

Kendall Wilson, founder of Vesta

“With Factory45, I was thrilled that someone was essentially taking me by the hand and showing me what to do, and in what order to do things. For the first time, I started to take action on my ideas and not just dream about them.”

KENDALL WILSON

Founder of Vesta

Megan Harrell, Co-founder of Thom Kelly

“When people ask me about Factory45, it’s hard to simply call it a fashion accelerator program when I feel like it’s so much more. You get the feeling Shannon is your own personal mentor, guiding you and providing thoughtful answers and encouragement along the way.”

MEGAN HARRELL

Co-founder of Thom Kelly

Dina Chavez, founder of SixChel

“The sustainable fashion network that has developed around Factory45 is so positive and supportive. We all want one another to succeed.”

DINA CHAVEZ

Founder of SixChel

Hear from Factory45 Alumni

Mary Bemis, founder of Reprise

“I had worked with a few other databases before but always got stuck when I had a question specific to my situation and nowhere to turn. The fact that I could email Shannon at any time, no matter how basic the question, was worth every investment in the program.”

MARY BEMIS

Founder of Reprise

Sarah Armendariz, Founder of Cosima

“The cost of this program paid for itself in the first few weeks. The supplier and production partner lists alone are worth gold to me. I’ve been in the apparel industry for 10 years, and no one has ever shared this much info.”

SARAH ARMENDARIZ

Founder of Cosima

Cara Bartlett, co-founder of VETTA

“If I had tried to launch my company on my own, I would still probably be in the research phase. But thanks to Shannon and Factory45, I created a responsibly sourced women’s capsule collection and launched a successful Kickstarter campaign (raising almost $90K) in under six months.”

CARA BARTLETT

Founder of VETTA

Kristin Salat, Trace Fashion

“Before joining F45, I was just in the idea stage. And frankly, with the fashion industry being so old and closed off, it was hard to make connections with suppliers and partners. I joined so I could gain some clarity, direction, support, and resources and actually start my business the right way. ”

KRISTIN SALAT

Founder of Trace Fashion

Blakely Wickstrom, founder of Gala Maar

“Factory45 was the best step I could have taken while navigating early entrepreneurship. Shannon has designed a clear and concise program that takes the guess work out of so many would-be time and money consuming aspects of starting a business.”

BLAKELY WICKSTROM

Founder of Gala Maar

Kaya Dorey, Founder of Novel Supply Co.

“Factory45 answered all of my burning questions about this challenging industry. I thought that not having a background in design or fashion would hinder my ability to follow my true calling but Shannon assured me it wouldn’t. She’s helped me start my business, been my guiding light and I always felt like she had ample time for my questions and for me.”

KAYA DOREY

Founder of Novel Supply Co.

Kendall Wilson, founder of Vesta

“With Factory45, I was thrilled that someone was essentially taking me by the hand and showing me what to do, and in what order to do things. For the first time, I started to take action on my ideas and not just dream about them.”

KENDALL WILSON

Founder of Vesta

Megan Harrell, Co-founder of Thom Kelly

“When people ask me about Factory45, it’s hard to simply call it a fashion accelerator program when I feel like it’s so much more. You get the feeling Shannon is your own personal mentor, guiding you and providing thoughtful answers and encouragement along the way.”

MEGAN HARRELL

Co-founder of Thom Kelly

Dina Chavez, founder of SixChel

“The sustainable fashion network that has developed around Factory45 is so positive and supportive. We all want one another to succeed.”

DINA CHAVEZ

Founder of SixChel

FACTORY45 ALUMNI HAVE APPEARED IN

logos of press organizations that factory45 alumni have appeared in

Sometimes you enroll in a program and by the end of it you think, ‘I could have figured this out on my own.’ You can’t say that about Factory45.

LAILA P., FOUNDER OF HARLY JAE

Click the play button to watch Factory45 on CNBC.

Sometimes you enroll in a program and by the end of it you think, ‘I could have figured this out on my own.’ You can’t say that about Factory45.

LAILA P., FOUNDER OF HARLY JAE

Click the play button to watch Factory45 on CNBC.

Applications to Factory45
are now now closed and will reopen in May 2020.

Until then, subscribe to receive free startup advice every week.

Applications to Factory45 are now closed and will reopen in May 2020.

Until then, subscribe to receive free startup advice every week.

Why Join Factory45?

With a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, the guidance of someone who has done it before, and a framework for following through on each step, you can launch your company faster – and waste less money – than taking the solo road.

Why Join Factory45?

With a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, the guidance of someone who has done it before, and a framework for following through on each step, you can launch your company faster – and waste less money – than taking the solo road.

Find fabric suppliers who sell minimums that you can afford.

Create a prototype that is “production ready” for the sew shop.

Partner with a manufacturer that values ethics and pays its workers a living wage.

Create a budget, cost analysis and financial projections for your first production run.

Create a marketing strategy to
attract eager customers for your launch.

Raise money to fund production
without giving up equity or royalties*.

*You’ll also be able to make back what you invested in Factory45

FACTORY45 WILL ANSWER QUESTIONS LIKE…

How do I know if I can trust a supplier or manufacturer?

How do I know which fabric and materials I need and where do I find them?

How much should I really be paying my samplemaker?

How much money do I need to go into production?

How do I ensure that I have customers to sell to when I’m ready to launch?

How do I get my company noticed by the media & industry influencers?

FACTORY45 WILL ANSWER QUESTIONS LIKE…

How do I know if I can trust a supplier or manufacturer?

How do I know which fabric and materials I need and where do I find them?

How much should I really be paying my samplemaker?

How much money do I need to go into production?

How do I ensure that I have customers to sell to when I’m ready to launch?

How do I get my company noticed by the media & industry influencers?

founder headshot

I honestly had no clue what I wanted to make when I signed up for Factory45. I have no previous apparel experience, but I knew I wanted to start my own business and I felt like Factory45 could help me do it with integrity. A mere four months after graduating from Factory45 my business was up and running.

TIFFANY SHOWN, FOUNDER OF FAIR SEAS SUPPLY CO.

READ MORE

founder headshot

I honestly had no clue what I wanted to make when I signed up for Factory45. I have no previous apparel experience, but I knew I wanted to start my own business and I felt like Factory45 could help me do it with integrity. A mere four months after graduating from Factory45 my business was up and running.

TIFFANY SHOWN, FOUNDER OF FAIR SEAS SUPPLY CO.

READ MORE

Applications to Factory45
are now closed and will reopen in May 2020.

Until then, subscribe to receive free startup advice every week.

Applications to Factory45 are now closed and will reopen in May 2020.

Until then, subscribe to receive free startup advice every week.

With Factory45, you will have everything you need to launch your company.

A personal consultant
and mentor

Fabric, materials
& manufacturing

A crystal clear
launch strategy

Money to
fund production

A community of peers to support you

An invitation to sell on Market45

With Factory45, you will have everything you need to launch your company.

A personal consultant
and mentor

Fabric, materials
& manufacturing

A crystal clear
launch strategy

Money to
fund production

A community of peers to support you

An invitation to sell on Market45

With Factory45, you will have everything you need to launch your company.

A personal consultant
and mentor

Fabric, materials
& manufacturing

A crystal clear
launch strategy

Money to
fund production

A community of
peers to support you

An invitation to
sell on Market45

The Investment

$500 USD per month for six months

  • Five in-depth modules
  • A support network of entrepreneurial peers
  • Expert mentorship
  • Connections across the sustainable fashion industry
  • Lifetime access to the program after it ends
  • An invitation to sell your brand on Market45 when you launch

THE GUARANTEE

Factory45 is backed by a 30 day money-back guarantee.

Here’s how it works: Participate in the first 30 days of the program. If you realize the course isn’t for you, then send me an email within 30 days of enrolling.

I’ll ask for your completed course work from the modules we’ve already finished (to make sure you gave it a shot) and once I review it, you’ll receive a complete refund.

DO YOU TAKE EQUITY?

No! Unlike conventional accelerator programs, you keep 100% ownership of your company. There are no other hidden costs or fees.

Applications to Factory45
are now closed and will reopen in May 2020.

Until then, subscribe to receive free startup advice every week.

The Investment

$500 USD per month for six months

  • Five in-depth modules
  • A support network of entrepreneurial peers
  • Expert mentorship
  • Connections across the sustainable fashion industry
  • Lifetime access to the program after it ends
  • An invitation to sell your brand on Market45 when you launch

THE GUARANTEE

Factory45 is backed by a 30 day money-back guarantee.

Here’s how it works: Participate in the first 30 days of the program. If you realize the course isn’t for you, then send me an email within 30 days of enrolling.

I’ll ask for your completed course work from the modules we’ve finished (to make sure you gave it a shot) and once I review it, you’ll receive a complete refund.

DO YOU TAKE EQUITY?

No! Unlike conventional accelerator programs, you keep 100% ownership of your company. There are no other hidden costs or fees.

Applications to Factory45
are now closed and will reopen in May 2020.

Until then, subscribe to receive free startup advice every week.

Still have questions?

ALUMNI STORIES

Read what graduates are saying about Factory45 here.

FAQ

Get answers to some common questions in the FAQ here.

CONTACT

Still have questions?

ALUMNI STORIES

Read what graduates are saying about Factory45 here.

FAQ

Get answers to some common questions in the FAQ here.

CONTACT

Still have questions?

ALUMNI STORIES

Read what graduates are saying about Factory45 here.

FAQ

Get answers to some common questions in the FAQ here.

CONTACT