Where were you with your idea or business before joining Factory45?
I had just left my full-time job to focus on gaining back my health after a slow decline the past two years. I was at a crossroads between pursuing a career I loved and finding another role in corporate America. With my health bringing light on the fact that happiness at the workplace quickly links to happiness and health within ourselves, I was on a mission to find a way to share my story, my passion for sustainability, and my drive to empower women through fashion.
I had been sketching for over a year, and had a solid idea for my first collection, but every fashion or design school I reached out to was overpriced, didn’t offer exactly what I wanted to achieve (i.e. launching my own line), and was providing me with advice on working my way through the industry to launch my own business over time. As I continued to search and came close to giving up, I found Factory45 through Google searches.
I reached out to Shannon, and it seemed to good to be true. The program was exactly what I needed, she was so quick to respond, friendly and gave great advice (even though I wasn’t in the program yet), and the price was so on point. I knew what I wanted and with nothing to lose, I joined Factory45. And, I have no regrets. It was the best decision I made, and I am so excited to see what the future holds for milo+nicki.
How did joining Factory45 help you?
The program is organized beautifully, and it taught me the ins and outs, the lingo, and the process of how to create a womenswear line in the USA. Her strategy and plan is not only proven for success, it is perfected for success (seriously). I was able to organize myself through launch rather than feeling super overwhelmed by doing everything at once. The program gives you the support and the guidance through each step of the process from production development through launch.
One of the largest areas I was able to improve on is my communication skills and being okay with putting myself out there — be it through social media or with factories and sample/pattern makers. Having a solid story and knowing the lingo of the industry gave me the confidence to open up and push my idea into a business.
Also, by being open and sharing my journey through social media and blogging, I was able to create amazing relationships and friendships inside and outside of Factory45. The ethical and sustainable community is so supportive which makes the process even more amazing.
In your opinion, what is the most valuable thing about Factory45?
I honestly can’t pick just one piece of Factory45! I think it is the whole package because each pieces connects to another. Without the lessons and videos, the questions would not arise in the community where all of us are able to grow and learn.
The program is very much interconnected, and Shannon is truly vested in the success of each of her entrepreneurs. She is there the entire way, even when you are having a moment where everything feels like it is crashing (true story, been there plenty of times).
I guess if I had to pick just one part of Factory45 that is the most valuable piece, I would say it is Shannon because without her the other pieces wouldn’t exist and without her support and genuine care there wouldn’t be this many amazing entrepreneurs living their dreams.
What were some big or small milestones you hit, after going through Factory45?
One of the biggest milestones was having a successful launch. I was able to take my idea and dream, and bring it to life in a little over a year. This is amazing thinking about how I was a part-time, multiple job ambitious, but unsure wanna-be entrepreneur in early 2016, and now I am an entrepreneur, business owner, and designer (still with multiple jobs), but achieving what makes me happy every single day.
Some small and recent milestones that have happened after Factory45 is becoming a fashion contributor for MOCHNI.COM which I never dreamed would be possible coming from public accounting, launching my online shop, putting in my first order of fabric, and prepping for our first run of production. I have also begun to plan out our second collection which is just as exciting as the first!