What do you feel is the most valuable thing about Factory45?
I’ve already touched on how the community was hugely beneficial. But the network extends beyond just my cohort members. The contacts listed in the supplier/manufacturer/media databases are incredibly valuable. I’m new to this industry and to my city – so being able to reference a list of trusted sources, in all areas, from marketing to searching for a production partner, was so helpful.
I’m also glad the program and its resources were available to me for longer than just the program dates: now that I’m almost in production, I’m revisiting a lot of the lessons to remind myself of some of the best practices and ways to reach out to spread the word about my launch.
What advice do you have for an aspiring entrepreneur?
If you have an apparel idea you can’t stop thinking about, and a commitment to sustainability/the environment, then Factory45 is the best piece of advice I can give you.
Even if you don’t yet know the details, or if you have doubts – if you have the passion and the will to learn, Factory45 can provide the tools to help you get there. I would especially recommend Factory45 to anyone starting an apparel company without formal educational training in the technical aspects of fashion.
Getting affirmation that you’re looking for the right things, in the right places, is so helpful! Manufacturing in America is especially tough – because it’s so rare, it’s hard to navigate. Factory45 makes it easier.
In large part due to being an alum of Factory45, I now know what I’m talking about a lot more often (which is nice!). I can’t stress enough how great it is to walk into a meeting with a potential supplier or production facility and be able to have the terminology to be taken seriously and get the answers I need. Factory45 has helped me learn what I didn’t know I didn’t know – and I’m very grateful that it’s given me the confidence to move forward with producing my brand.
I’m grateful not only for Shannon’s invaluable expertise and knowledge, but also for the cohort of fellow entrepreneurs, who continue to provide support and inspiration.