Where were you with your business before joining Factory45?
I was at the idea stage. I had sketched out the first collection but honestly had no idea where to go, who to talk to or how to start an apparel business. Do I go on Etsy, should I start sewing, can I actually work with a factory?
How did joining Factory45 help you?
Factory45 is exactly what I needed to take the next steps. It's an idea to launch program. I had all these ideas circling around in my head and knew I wanted to start executing them. The problem for me is I didn't know the industry AT ALL and finding Factory45 was perfect for the stage I was at!
There is a lot more involved than simply having an idea. How do I reach suppliers, will people take me seriously, how do I know what the next steps might be? Factory45 walks you through each step. I learned how to reach my suppliers, talk on their level and really understand the importance of knowing when to push!
Another part that I never thought of was building my brand. You find out the importance of building your audience well before your product comes out and the steps to make that happen.
What did you launch?
We launched Citizens Smalls, an apparel line for kiddos. It was really important to us to keep everything USA-made and find fabric and a factory that care about fair wages and the environment.
I wasn’t sure at first what this entailed but once you start looking into a sustainable apparel company there is a wealth of information! I wanted to know more about each person who was making our clothes, do they have a family, what brought them into this industry, why do they love making clothes. Softness was a biggie for us, so we found an amazing company that sources that softest bamboo!
What were some milestones you hit after going through Factory45?
We launched a successful Kickstarter campaign!
Kickstarter was totally foreign to me. But once you tap into this world of Kickstarter you become addicted! It’s such a good feeling to support other businesses trying to get off the ground. We were so fortunate to raise the $20,000 we needed to start Citizen Smalls.
We went into production in April and it’s been so exciting to get our product out there!
Describe your business after Factory45.
I really had no clue about the apparel industry when I started. From the moment I started Factory45 to now is such a feeling of accomplishment. I’ve learned SO much and everyday I’m learning more. I honestly don’t think you ever stop learning in this industry.
I’m so thankful to have had Shannon not only to guide me through the program but also to be a friend, supporter and mentor. She has steered me through obstacles and has been there for my triumphs. I feel like she will always be there for me cheering me on, which seriously is huge. Get excited to hear more from us soon!