A few weeks ago, I introduced some of the entrepreneurs in this season’s cohort of Factory45. If you missed it, that post is here.
Moving right along, I want to introduce you to several other entrepreneurs in the program — from San Diego to New York, handbags to lingerie, meet five Factory45’ers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past two months:
Matt Hickey is the founder of Be Kind Vibes and we met through Mikaela Clifford, a Factory45’er from last year’s program. Matt came into Factory45 already having an online storefront and physical pop-up shop — he also has a dedicated and growing Instagram following. Currently selling hemp and organic cotton shirts that are sourced wholesale, Matt is working to expand the Be Kind Vibes product line with original designs that are all sustainably sourced and manufactured in the U.S.
Sarah Davis found early success as an entrepreneur by creating a childcare service called Olive You Nanny. Based in Austin, TX and the mother of three, Sarah started searching for her next venture and found inspiration in her children’s closets. From day one of Factory45, Sarah sprinted out of the starting gates to create Citizen Smalls, “apparel for kiddos.” She is currently in the pattern-and-samplemaking process, in addition to building a killer brand identity, and will launch in Fall 2015.
Ginger Bunn lives a few towns over from me and we first met for coffee right as applications to Factory45 were opening. Ginger is one of the rare entrepreneurs in this year’s cohort who already has experience selling. She has become a fan favorite at handbag trunk shows in her area and applied to Factory45 looking to set up a supply chain so she wouldn’t have to make all of her products herself. Ginger is relaunching her brand as Bevy Goods this year.
Tiffany Shown first came onto my radar when she asked to cover Factory45 for her lifestyle blog, Organically You. She then ended up applying to Factory45 in pursuit of creating a sustainable beach towel. Tiffany took on one of the toughest fabric sourcing pursuits this year and not only found the material she needed, but also negotiated to a more competitive price with her supplier. Fair Seas Supply Co., a line of round, handwoven, organic cotton beach towels, will be entirely made in the USA.
Mariana Rist is one of the youngest Factory45’ers and also one of the most committed. After she was accepted into this year’s program, she took on a second job to supplement her startup costs and Factory45 tuition. Mariana is based in New York City and is creating a line of sustainable lingerie and women’s intimates. Finding a company name that isn’t already being used has been Mariana’s biggest challenge, but her branding and vision for her line is as solid as it gets.
If you didn’t catch the update on the previous year’s program here is a summary post of some of the success stories coming out of Factory45.