What is your product(s)?
LOVANIE is a made-to-order fashion brand for petite women 5’4” and under. Our designs are romantic, feminine and travel-inspired. LOVANIE pieces are made locally in Seattle where I’m based. Currently, all of our items are made-to-order to minimize waste. We use eco-friendly fabrics such as linen, organic cotton and deadstock fabric. All of our packaging is also recycled or compostable.
Where were you with your idea or business before joining Factory45?
Before joining Factory45, LOVANIE was just an idea. Even though I’ve always been interested in fashion, I didn’t have any fashion industry experience. I started blogging about sustainable fashion for a year before deciding that I wanted to launch my own sustainable fashion brand. I started researching online about how to start a brand and got overwhelmed and stuck by just knowing what I should invest in, what factories to work with etc. After going down that rabbit hole, I was looking for both a structured program and a community to help me through the entire process of starting my own business.
How did joining Factory45 help you?
Factory45 was one of the main contributors that enabled me to launch my own sustainable fashion brand. It was helpful that the program was as long as it was, so that I had time to digest the course materials and implement everything I learned in real-time. By the time that the program ended, I had completed the market research, finalized my designs, sourced fabrics, worked with a patternmaker on my final samples and had a rough launch plan. The step-by-step guidance and mentorship from Shannon and alumni were crucial in helping me progress through these stages.
In your opinion, what is the most valuable thing about Factory45?
The most valuable thing about Factory45 was how comprehensive the program really is. The course content is very in-depth and the database of suppliers and manufacturers were extremely helpful. I think what made Factory45 stand out from other programs is the personal connection to Shannon, alumni mentors and the community of other fashion brand owners, who I still chat with until this day. I loved that I was able to get personal responses and feedback from Shannon who had so much experience in this industry. Being an entrepreneur can also be a lonely journey so the community I found here was incredibly supportive as well.
What were some big or small milestones that you hit after going through Factory45?
The biggest milestone after going through Factory45 was being able to finally launch my own brand with the timeline of about a year from concept to launch. I’ve learned so much with the smaller milestones along the way from going through multiple rounds of samples, finding a manufacturer/seamstress, to the collection photoshoot. The best feeling is probably seeing real customers wearing the pieces that I designed and getting feedback on how LOVANIE offers petite women new sustainable clothing options that fit them well.
Please describe your business after Factory45.
It’s been nearly a year since I first launched LOVANIE in May 2021. Since then I’ve launched 2 collections in the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. I’ve also transitioned from a small batch manufacturing model to made-to-order and I’m excited to explore ways to expand LOVANIE in the future including more sizing beyond petites and perhaps offering sewing patterns as an option as well.