What is your product(s)?
I have created a line of basics, inspired by the simplistic lifestyle of living by water. Using organic fabrics, currently bamboo cotton blends with the perfect amount of stretch, sourced from British Columbia.
I have kept sustainability and ethics in the forefront of my mind. That was certainly a goal of mine from the very beginning. Even if it required a bigger investment of time and money, nothing would be worth it to me if I cut corners. I was so fortunate enough to partner up with a women-owned manufacturer in Fall River, MA. I can jump in my car and drive down to the manufacturer. I can walk inside and see the workers, working on my pieces. It is the most rewarding feeling to see my products on the production floor and the workers sewing & smiling— in an ethical, healthy working environment.
Where were you with your idea or business before joining Factory45?
Before joining Factory45, I was coming off a rebranding stage as well as opening a new chapter in my personal life. After just graduating college I was at a unique stage where I could really work toward bringing my clothing brand vision to life. I was making the switch from buying wholesale blanks which I did in college to making the investment (both time and financially) to manufacturing my own cuts and styles. This meant basically restarting everything.
Finding fabric sources, partnering with a manufacturer and filling all the seams in between. I joined this program because I feel like Shannon took everything from her own experience and wanted to use that to help others get rolling toward their own visions. I value the way she creates a community welcoming the new brands while still honoring her alums.
How did joining Factory45 help you?
I came into Factory45, with a vision and some small action steps. I knew I wanted to value sustainability and support ethical standards as core elements to my business. Shannon’s genuine investment in Factory45 helped me break down my ideas and creativity translating them into the fundamental aspects to my business. She taught me the essential ground that needed to be built before taking bigger steps to launch. I express sincere gratitude for Shannon’s leadership, and how she shares her insight based on her own experience to help individuals build confidence and progress with a purpose.
In your opinion, what is the most valuable thing about Factory45?
I believe the accessibility to the videos and lessons were very helpful, I liked being able to review and go back, as well as move at my own pace. Some weeks I was on top of things, however during my most crazy weeks I liked be able to play catch-up without the pressure of having to make a session at a specific time. Even the resources, the sourcing data base will be very helpful for me to stay on top of new fabrics and continue researching textiles as I think about adding future products.
Most importantly, the personal connection to Shannon was something huge for me. She is real, a real responding human who cares about your success and development. I was fortunate enough to connect and get coffee with her and you can feel her passion and care for each individual and their own vision. She not only provides the tools and fundamentals to help get you off the ground, but its her care and support infused into the whole process that is unique to the structure of how she offers a “idea to launch” business is unlike any else.
What were some big or small milestones that you hit after going through Factory45?
I just got invited to put my brand in For Now, a retail concept pop-up shop in the Seaport of Boston, which is very exciting to me. I have been watching that store grow and I remember the first time I walked in there, I was proud to be able to say I was in Shannon’s Factory45 2018 class. I felt like that statement gave me an edge of confidence. I believe being able to say that statement, provided more credibility to me and expressed how serious/driven I was in bringing my vision to life.
Not only did I feel that in that distinct moment but, that extra ounce of confidence and backing support to be a part of such a awesome program helped push me through some milestones and lulls when it was hard to measure the pre-launching steps with no tangible measurements of progression. When you’re in the developmental stages it can be hard to feel accomplished and grasp progress when you don’t have any physical product yet. Being a part of Factory45, was a constant reminder that its okay to feel that. You are a part of a community where everyone was at different stages, and it was okay no matter what stage you were at.
Please describe your business after Factory45.
I would describe my business after Factory45 to be more focused on a purpose. I even have more confidence in saying and sharing mission of my brand with purpose. Before Factory45 I struggled with honing in on my creativity and keeping a clear concise vision. Shannon helped me narrow down my vision and channel creativity with a sole purpose, targeting the core elements of a brand. She provides the tools to do so and make sure the strong foundation is created before moving forward.
I was able to solidify my ideas, concepts, and branding with the help of Shannon and her insight. I valued how Shannon speaks from experience, and her own personal journey.