How did joining Factory45 help you?
What didn’t I learn?
Coming from the extremely technical food business, I loved starting with the sewn manufacturing module. Shannon outlined who did what, and the steps in which the whole process is orchestrated, which helped me visualize (and fully appreciate) the planning and detail necessary to be successful.
One of my biggest takeaways was the importance of defining my target customer. Giving her a name, knowing where she shops, designing with her unique user experience in mind…it was SO key. If you’re trying to appeal to everyone, you’re actually appealing to no one. Spending the time to narrow this part down helped frame up the products themselves, price point and even color.
The last, and most important takeaway, was tribe. Part A: having a safe, tight, vocal and supportive group of like-minded people around you through the vulnerable times. Part B: building your email list early, often and by way of actual potential customers. Both are gold.
In your opinion, what is the most valuable thing about Factory45?
Shannon’s genuine vested interest in sustainability — coupled with her experience, candor and availability — makes for this amazing mentorship model that benefits her, us and… ALL. As a novice in design and fashion, the personal coaching and direction I’ve received from Shannon has been absolutely priceless.
While Factory45’s content and modules are a gold-mine, the value lies within the direct connection. Something that, even with the very best program, could never fully be replicated.
What were some big or small milestones you hit after going through Factory45?
Receiving my first samples back from the factory made me cry. To see the culmination of my perseverance, while still exceling and being promoted in my full-time job, was a huge milestone. I was able to use it as food for my soul and it motivated me to keep pushing!
Achieving a fully-funded Kickstarter in 12 days. While the Kickstarter was one of the most grueling projects I’ve ever done, it validated the value I had hoped others would see in SproutFit. Without my tribe, I couldn’t have executed it. Without the foundations from Factory45 and Crowdfunding Factory, I doubt it would have ended at 142% funded!
Getting an email from Axe Capital from Showtime’s hit series Billions during the Kickstarter. The skeptic in me said, “Ha! That’s awesome. Some crowdfunding boost company is trying to scam me!” But after I read the Forbes article outlining Showtime’s mission to find innovative companies and ideas and fund them through a real-life Axe Capital platform, I responded immediately! I didn’t realize companies were submitting their projects for Axe Capital to back, so to have them reach out to me (and be one of the very first companies to have their support) was exciting.
Receiving an invitation from Kevin Harrington, one of the original Sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank, and the creator of As Seen On TV, to be a part of his upcoming media campaign. While I didn’t “take the deal”, it was a fun experience and I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to speak with his team and understand his business better. While the door is still open, I feel proud of staying loyal to the ethos I’d developed for SproutFit, and continuing on the current road.