Where were you with your business before joining Factory45?
Farbrook Studio was a theoretical and creative aspiration. I had spent a couple years turning over different ideas for a personal project/business concept, and had finally settled on wanting to make simple, super comfy, yoga-friendly layers. Right around the time I decided to just go for it and figure out how to get the clothing designed and manufactured, I stumbled on the F45 website and realized that it would be a great help to have a road map and support system to guide me in the beginning steps.
How did joining Factory45 help you?
It was really helpful to have a structure/plan to follow along. Clothing manufacturing is so much more complicated than I ever previously understood, on top of which I also had to learn about e-commerce, wholesaling, marketing, fundraising, social media, and the list goes on… It can be overwhelming to have so many variables to attend to when running your own business, and F45 helped me stay on track, and also connected me with other people who are having similar experiences – it's been so great to make new friends and support one another in pursuing our goals.
What did you launch?
I launched a small collection called the 24 Hour Outfit. It includes a pair of pleated pants, a cardigan, a tank top, and a wrap. The pieces are made from super soft organic cotton and bamboo, and are meant to be mixed and matched, and integrated easily into any wardrobe.
What were some milestones you hit after going through Factory45?
I successfully funded my Kickstarter, despite the timing being quite bad (the 2016 election happened right in the middle of my campaign.) I've made pre-sales through my website before having inventory available, and I've had a few local boutiques in Brooklyn express interest in carrying my line once it's ready.
Describe your business after Factory45.
Farbrook Studio is a work in progress, and I'm taking things slowly. Connecting with people on a personal level is much more important and interesting to me than trying to be famous on the internet, so for 2017 I'm planning to keep things cozy by showing the collection to NYC based shops where I can visit and build meaningful relationships with owners and buyers. I'm also planning to host trunk shows so that I can meet my customers in person.
I am curious and open minded about the ways in which Farbrook Studio will grow – it's an interesting challenge to build a brand without significant cashflow, so I'm trying to approach the whole thing with optimism, creativity, and a sense of adventure. I'd love to collaborate with other small businesses, and to pool our resources to help everyone grow.
Before F45 I wasn't really aware of the size and enthusiasm of the sustainable fashion community, and since the conclusion of the program it's been wonderful to feel that Farbrook Studio is a part of a larger effort to better the world.