What is your product(s)?
Reprise is a line of plant-based activewear making comfortable performance wear without the plastics. We work with high-quality fabric made from natural materials as a solution to the issue of microplastic shedding from traditional sportswear. We also produce locally in NYC to ensure everyone who works with us is treated fairly and equally.
Where were you with your idea or business before joining Factory45?
Before joining Factory45 I had an idea for a company but no idea where to start. I have a background in Finance and Advertising, so I felt like without knowing how to ‘talk-the- talk’ I wasn’t going to get anywhere. I had started taking classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology in their Sustainable Design Entrepreneur certificate program, but I felt like I really needed a thorough step-by- step guide and a community of people who were in the same stage as me.
How did joining Factory45 help you?
Factory45 gave me the confidence I needed to put my idea out there and start creating. Sending my first email to fabric suppliers was still scary but having a template of what to say gave me the boost I needed – and the responses I was looking for! This applied to every step of the process, from sourcing to production to crowdfunding; the inside information I garnered gave me the assurance that I was on the right track.
In your opinion, what is the most valuable thing about Factory45?
Having direct access to someone like Shannon was invaluable to me. I had worked with a few other databases before but always got stuck when I had a question specific to my situation and nowhere to turn. The fact that I could email Shannon at any time, no matter how basic the question, was worth every investment in the program. I also found the checklists and templates extremely helpful. I love working through a to-do list and to have one that walked me through all of the exact steps I needed to take made the process so much more manageable. Finally, the community! I connected with a few other women in New York and we would support each other weekly with how each step of the process was going – and we still do today!
What were some big or small milestones that you hit after going through Factory45?
My goal leaving Factory45 was to launch a Kickstarter to get my business off the ground. I launched about 4 months after the program ended and the response to my campaign was amazing. I’m so excited to say I recently surpassed my goal and am currently setting up to start my first round of production!
Please describe your business after Factory45.
I’m currently in the process of transitioning from crowdfunding to a dedicated online store. As a result of my campaign I’ve been approached with investment and brand-partnership opportunities so my focus next is on how to grow Reprise even further.