Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.
SmartGlamour is a clothing line of fashionable, affordable basics that can be customized for any woman. We offer a size range of XXS-3X and everything is handmade in NYC. Customers can choose a set size, choose that set size and add customizations to it (hem length, sleeve length, waistband height, etc) or send in measurements to get a completely tailored garment. We promote body positivity and overall wellness for women; we are changing the face of fashion to one that welcomes women of all sizes and shapes simultaneously empowering them instead of feeding on their insecurities.
What inspired you to launch your business idea?
I have always been interested in fashion but after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2007, I was put off by it instead of being inspired. I then went on to receive a teaching degree in Art and Design from Pratt Institute and found myself missing the fashion world. After having multiple corporate design jobs – and disliking them all – I moved into the world of freelance. I enjoyed the freedom, the creativity, and the ability to help others on a case by case personal basis. I always knew the aesthetic of what my own clothing line would be – but didn't have an ethical reason behind my design. Simply making pretty clothes didn't seem good enough. I wanted to help women. After many impassioned conversations with friends and loved ones about women's body issues, society's treatment of women, and women's treatment of one another – I came up with an idea to change the face of fashion, promote positivity and wellness, and put women in charge of their own clothes. Instead of women feeling the need to contort their bodies to fit to the media's idea of beauty – women can chart their own path and create the clothes to cater to them.
What problem does your business or organization solve?
SmartGlamour solves many problems in the world of women's fashion today. It is all inclusive sizing – there is no difference between the “straight size” styles and the “plus size” styles. Additionally – with the ability to customize hems, sleeves, waistbands, etc – women can not only tailor the clothes to their wants and desires – but also to their bodies. On top of that – everything is hand made in NYC and it is affordable. There are no factories involved, no sweat shops, no outsourcing. Customers know where their clothes are coming from and they can be a large part of deciding exactly what those clothes are. SmartGlamour empowers women to be in control of their clothes – instead of feeling powerless to set options mandated by society and the media.
What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
My biggest challenge so far as an entrepreneur has been getting media attention to spread the word. All the big names in fashion publication have moved into a world where only celebrities matter – it is harder and harder for a start up to become important in their eyes unless a celebrity is backing it.
There is a current trend towards body positivity in ads and collections but in my opinion, most companies attempting it are coming at it very halfheartedly. They won't use photoshop on a campaign – but they don't use any diversity in their models. They use diversity in their models by including only one or two women of color. They claim to use “real women” as models – but the product behind it itself is doing nothing for social change.
I am trying to overcome this obstacle by writing about my personal experiences as a woman and attempting to get those ideas and stories publicized – thinking that the more my name is out there – the more it will become attached to SmartGlamour and SmartGlamour will get more recognition.
Give us one word that people might use to describe you.
Determined. When I set a goal – I accomplish it, no matter what.
How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
I am brand new to Project Eve – so I am excited to see how it can help SmartGlamour grow and expand!
Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or startup story.
If you can buy a shirt for $6.99 – there's a reason – and it's not a good one. Think about where your clothes are being made and who is doing the making. What conditions are they living in? Spending just a little bit more on a quality piece that really, truly fits – will go a long way and you won't have to replace it every season.
Follow my organization on social media here:
Instagram – @smartglamour, www.pinterest.com/smartglamour, https://www.youtube.com/user/SmartGlamour, https://www.etsy.com/shop/OfficialSmartGlamour
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