The weirdest thing happened to me the other day.
I realized something that I never could have guessed would be my current reality.
I know, not shocking considering the state of the world.
But first, let me backup.
If you’ve been following along over the past couple of weeks you know that I launched The Mask Project to match hospitals in need of PPE with factories in America that could make them.
First, I connected with a fabric supplier that could provide the fabric.
Second, I connected with factories that could make the masks.
Next, we created a landing page to collect email addresses from the hospitals.
Then, we started gathering “orders” and shipping out the masks.
But here’s where things got interesting…
We quickly realized that we couldn’t sustain The Mask Project on donations alone, while also keeping sewers paid.
So with the partnership of a factory in Massachusetts, we launched a direct-to-consumer Shopify site where we could sell personal face masks to the public.
By selling personal masks, we’re able to help offset the cost of producing the donated masks to hospitals across the country.
Similar to if I had launched a crowdfunding campaign to pre-sell…
If you’ve already graduated from Factory45, then this all might sound familiar to you.
Because here’s what I realized:
After all of these years (six to be exact) I followed the exact steps to launch The Mask Project that I teach through the Factory45 accelerator program.
Already having the framework for the process, the manufacturing and supplier connections and past experience starting companies this way, I was able to adopt an accelerated version of Factory45.
Instead of launching a product in six months, like I teach in Factory45, we launched in two weeks.
(Of course, two weeks is an extreme timeline, but we’re living in extreme times.)
Anyway, my point is:
It’s been really cool to observe how well this model for building a business still works.
(I just wish it didn't take a pandemic.)
Of course, there’s so much more that goes into it than the simplified version I just outlined, but it’s been interesting to go through the process again — a decade after doing it the first time.
And to prove, once again, that Factory45 really does work.
I know that some of you reading have been waiting a year for applications to open for the 2020 program.
I’ve been getting emails from people asking if Factory45 is still happening this year given the current state of the world.
And thankfully, because Factory45 is entirely online, I can tell you:
Yes, we are absolutely opening applications as scheduled.
So if you’re planning to start your sustainable fashion or accessories brand this year, mark your calendar for May 6th.
I’ll be sharing some exciting changes to the program over the next few weeks.
And I can’t wait to fill you in on the details.
P.S. Did you catch last week’s post? Read Why It’s Never Been a Better Time to Start a Sustainable Fashion Brand