Startup Stories: Presentation Institute of Fashion

Karen Larde, Presentation Institute of Fashion

Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.
Post secondary education and training for those aspiring to work in the fashion industry

What inspired you to launch your business idea?
Years ago when the economy took a dramatic turn for the worst, I was a professor at a university which laid off over 100 staff and faculty. Many of my closest colleagues were affected by this and it bothered me immensely that these people were losing their jobs. I felt I came very close to being let go as well but somehow I was spared; at least at that moment. I decided to help create a venture that could possibly allow them to gain some stability back by creating distance courses online that they could teach. I worked tirelessly for years on the school hoping to be able to one day employ some of the very people that lost their jobs during the spring of 2009. Ironically, a few years later, my contract would not be renewed and I would forced to work my business full-time which to me was a total “blessing” in disguise. Since May of 2013 I have not looked back and we are well underway to becoming a licensed, operable fashion college.

What problem does your business or organization solve?
We offer affordable educational training for those aspiring to work in the fashion industry. Our customer service and commitment to our student is unparallelled because we want our students to succeed and most of all become gainfully employed in the market.

So many schools charge hefty tuition rates for attending their universities and most of the time, students have a difficult time getting a job after graduation or even receiving necessary assistance from the school’s career services division.

What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
My biggest challenge has been funding. Raising money for a for-profit business is never easy. You must find ways to reach sources that are supportive of your cause by whatever means necessary. It is a learning experience however because it challenges me to think outside of the box and do things I never would have thought that I could do.

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.
Change Agent

How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
Project Eve has helped me and my business because I enjoy receiving inspirational stories about other women in the world. It’s like having global camaraderie all over the world! I like to see what others are doing in hopes that there are businesses out there that I can partner so that we all can do great things and progress our businesses!

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or startup story.
“When you love what you do, you never work a day in your life” . This is my daily mantra and I firmly believe in living your dreams and finding out what it is in your life that you would do, even if it didn’t pay you. For this is your passion, go after it.

Company: Presentation Institute of Fashion


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