These are always my favorite posts to write. I love introducing you to the entrepreneurs who are coming through the Factory45 program right now. If you missed the last introduction to the Fall 2015 crew it’s here.
We are three modules into the program, having already focused on fabric/materials sourcing, branding and pre-production and there is already so much progress being made. From landing page launches to samples being sewn to production partners being visited.
In no particular order, here are the next six entrepreneurs I’d love for you to get to know, follow and support.
Christine Concepcion and I connected in 2014 right after I launched the pilot program of Factory45. We followed each other on Instagram and then this past September, I was so excited to see her application come through. Christine already launched her brand Tsoia with a small run of sustainably-made tees, but she’s diving into the even bigger feat of launching an outerwear brand. Based in Los Angeles, Christine is exploring the world of custom wool knits to create sustainable options for unisex outerwear that is made in the USA.
Colleen Monroe first reached out to interview me for her design podcast Cloth&Cube. When applications opened to Factory45 in September I was surprised to learn that she was looking to launch her own brand. With a background in costume design and experience working in film and TV, Colleen is starting out by creating the perfect pants for working women. Her plan is to design a new kind of professional wardrobe that can take women through all facets of her day.
Peg Steley is a jewelry-maker-now-clothing-designer creating the perfect travel dress for women. Launching Margo Polo, Peg is creating the new go-to destination for women who want to read travel advice and browse through travel products curated specifically for them. Deeming this a travel product rather than a fashion product, Peg says the dress fits into a 6×6 pouch and minimizes packing. After spending her early career producing large scale events and then another 20 years raising her children, Peg is taking entrepreneurship by the horns inspired by her travels around the world.
Katie Hall is the founder and curator of Wynn Ruby, an e-commerce boutique for children’s clothing. Based in Austin, TX, Katie is now designing her own line of infant clothing to add to her shop. She is the mother of two little girls and still finds time to get involved with the local small businesses in Austin through pop-up shops and markets.
Ashley Lovell graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and is now an actress in New York City. An inherent creative, Ashley plans to shake up the fashion industry by repurposing and upcycling old garments into new ones. Having as close to a zero footprint on the environment as possible, Ashley is looking to take the waste from other ethical design companies to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
Sarah-Valin Bloom is an artist based out of New York and New Jersey who is a former trauma therapist specialized in PTSD. She graduated from Columbia University and is looking to pivot her career path by creating a line of womenswear. Through her line, Sarah-Valin wants to bring about an increased consciousness, joy and peace to the women who wear her clothes.