What is your product(s)?
I launched Dessous Loungewear with two caftan designs. About 90% of all my materials, including tags and packaging, are sustainable. My goal is to get that to 100% with my next collection. Dessous’s clothing is entirely made in the US at a small, family run factory in Los Angeles.
Where were you with your idea or business before joining Factory45?
I was actually fairly far along, because I’d been working on my business for about a year before joining Factory45. I’d sourced some of my fabrics and had a first round of samples made. I’d found a production partner I really liked, but they subsequently changed their business plan and was no longer going to be doing manufacturing. I was excited about starting my brand, but everything was taking twice as long as I expected and I had no one with experience in the industry to turn to for mentoring or sharing resources.
How did joining Factory45 help you?
Factory45 helped me gain the industry knowledge I needed to feel confident approaching and negotiating with pattern makers, sample makers, fabric suppliers, and factories. Additionally, Factory45 provided me with tested marketing tools and ideas for engaging with potential customers on social media. After joining Factory45, I was able to grow my email marketing list by more than 100%!
In your opinion, what is the most valuable thing about Factory45?
Factory45 has been valuable to me in so many ways. I was matched with an experienced mentor from whom I could get advice. I’m also able to reach out to Shannon personally when I need her input. Finally, I’ve gained a network of colleagues also in the process of starting their own brands. Entrepreneurship can be lonely and isolating so this community has probably been the most valuable thing for me.
What were some big or small milestones that you hit after going through Factory45?
After joining Factory45, I sourced sustainable fabric utilizing F45’s database. I also found and negotiated with a new factory after my original one changed its business plan to consulting only. I increased my social marketing significantly, growing Dessous’s email list by more than 100%.
Additionally, with guidance from Shannon and my Factory45 mentor Megan, I designed my own e-commerce website, carried out a successful pre-sale campaign, sourced Earth-friendly packaging and got my first press writeup on the Voyage ATL website.
Please describe your business after Factory45.
Dessous Loungewear is a direct-to-consumer women’s sustainable loungewear company. Dessous successfully launched via a pre-sale on our e-commerce website offering two caftan designs in a handful of different colors and patterns. I am currently working on patterns and samples for a tunic and short caftan to add to the line. I’m working with an ethical company in India to add hand block printed and ikat weaves in organic cotton. An important part of this mission for me is educating consumers about the negative effects of fast-fashion on the Earth. I’m also proud to have partnered with Ecologi.com to plant a tree for every item ordered.