Fashion 101: How to Start a Fashion Business

Fashion 101: How to Start a Fashion Business


So you're a designer, and if you had time to spare for the drama that is reality TV, you would have won your season of Project Runway. Or maybe you're not great with needles and thread, but you have the eye to round-up exclusive goods for a slamming new boutique. If you're all fashion, but need a little help on the business end, check out The San Francisco Fashion and Merchants Alliance (SFFAMA) Mash-up event, "How to Start a Business in Fashion", Thursday night at Pigment Cosmetics.

SFFAMA says you don't need an MBA to start a fashion business. What you need is a range of resources, some great advice to get you started, and the gut to stay with it in this fierce, fierce, fierce industry. Whether you're feeling the retail or design itch, be sure to attend with a loaded gun of questions. A select panel of small-business pros will speak on a range of topics including how to create a business plan, and how to finance your business. Here's the scoop on the speakers:

Gwendolyn Wright, founder of The Wright Consultants, a small business management group established in 1994. Wright will head the business plan discussion, and talk finance. 

Brad Carrick, founder of Solz Shoes. Carrick will speak about his own experience creating a successful lifestyle shoe company with patented designs, and will also discuss micro-branding. 

Paula Mattisonsierra, founder of p.Mattison Consulting, has 21-years of design and marketing experience. Mattisonsierra works with area fashion-based business owners, and will discuss how to create realistic plans to achieve long-term goals. 

Owen Geronimo, founder of SFFAMA and SF Fashion Week, will serve as moderator. Geronimo has an extensive local fashion dossier, and loads of experience producing fashion shows. 

Fashion Mash-up Workshop: How to Start a Business in Fashion, Thursday March 17, from 6pm to 9pm, at Pigment Cosmetics (1 Market St. Suite 140), $10.  


Lily Ko (lily.7x7 @ studied fashion design and merchandising at Central Saint Martins and the Academy of Art University. In addition to writing for 7x7, Lily is an editor at SF Station, works as a freelance stylist and covers food, fashion and fun on her blog, Curated SF.

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