What is your product(s)?
I make fashion accessories from upcycling designer fabric remnants that would otherwise be tossed out after clothing production. My mission is to change the way waste is managed in the fashion industry, showing how it can still be utilized by turning it into something beautiful and useful.
Where were you with your idea or business before joining Factory45?
I'd been in business for about three years when I started Factory45. Immediately when I heard about the program, I looked it up and was so excited that it was built around a sustainable fashion community. After looking through the website and seeing some of the success stories, I just HAD to find out how they did it.
During that time I was toying around with the idea of doing another Kickstarter. I'd already done one in the past that was successful, but on a very small scale compared to some of the Factory45 graduates. That was probably what intrigued me the most about applying. I felt like I was kind of stuck in my business where it was and I needed help with growing it further. This seemed like exactly what I needed.
How did joining Factory45 help you?
Factory45 helped me get more focused on my target market and the products I want to create. When I started the program I had one idea of where I wanted to go, but as I went through, my ideas changed and my goals got redirected. During the program, I learned how important blogging is and how to build an email list. I ended up completely redoing my website thanks to the help from another Factory45 peer. I still haven't done another Kickstarter yet, but when I do, I know this time I will be better prepared to tackle the task and achieve higher success.
In your opinion, what is the most valuable thing about Factory45?
Before I started the program I thought the most important thing that would come from this would be the knowledge about how to run a successful Kickstarter, but as I went through, the thing that turned out to be the most valuable was the community of other like-minded business owners. Being in the “sustainable” fashion world had felt very lonely trying to grow my business in a niche market that is just growing itself. Having been in business for awhile I realized how important it is to not only grow my audience but also my network of other business bosses.
Having that support group of others going through the same/similar struggles as myself, makes getting through some of the hard times a lot easier. Sometimes in the fashion industry, people can just be in the mindset that they're just out for themselves, but it's absolutely not the case in this program. Everyone is here to learn and help support each other. It's not a competition.
What were some big or small milestones you hit after going through Factory45?
Launching a new website was the biggest milestone I accomplished thus far. I don't think I would've made the switch if I hadn't learned the importance of the website's role and what/how things should be featured. It's still not perfect, but I know it's something that is constantly going to evolve as I grow. I'm also thankful I went through the program and didn't just rush into making the new product I was thinking about and launching it on Kickstarter just to try making a quick chunk of money. This allowed me to lay out some very important groundwork that will help my business be more sustainable in how it grows and not just the products I make.
Please describe your business after Factory45.
After Factory45, I have more clarity on what I'm doing with my business and the direction I want to take it. I'm currently in the experimental phase of creating some new products that I hope to add to my line later this year or beginning of next. When they're ready, I know the knowledge I gained from this program will help me have a successful launch.