Tag Archives: startups

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Design Entrepreneurs NYC Mini-MBA program — year 3 and gaining momentum!

DrJoyceBrown DENYC14

Dr. Joyce Brown, President of FIT, welcoming the new designers! Jeannette Nostra, on the Board of GIII & Morris Goldfarb, President, Chairman & CEO of GIII in the background.

The DENYC just had its kick off weekends with intense all-day sessions (you can set your beach calendar to this — it’s always the first two best weekends of perfect weather of the summer — and these dedicated 32 designers are indoors without windows the whole time) — and guess what?
They love it!

ChrisHelm DENYC14

Christine Helm, Coordinator, Enterprise Center, FIT

Each year the faculty adjust the program to customize it to the class and each year the incoming class is further along in their business at the start than the year before. I co-teach growth strategies (with some marketing thrown in).

This year’s group is great. Every designer has a clearly defined niche and their styles are so appealing! I’ll be mentoring bexnyc.com and lalaandsasi.com.

I’m particularly excited about the first fashion tech designer to participate in DENYC!  A handbag that charges your cell phone!  Wait til you see the rest!   On second thought, don’t wait http://www.designentrepreneursnyc.com/participants.html

Look for pop-up shops featuring the alumni especially as the holidays approach.

Check out the program, it’s current students and alumni, http://blog.fitnyc.edu/denyc/

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

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Namaste NYC

I would like to congratulate Ritu Jadwani, one of our ESL/Fashion Business certificate students from 2008, on starting her own business! I’ve seen these in person and my personal favorites are the bracelets, they are beautiful. Congrats Ritu! 

 

Namaste NYC is a fair trade brand that creates beautifully hand-crafted products in India for a global audience. We incorporate crafts like hand embroideries, block prints, hand tie-dye, metal work and punch work to design interesting textures. With an aim to revive the dying craft industry of India, we support khadi and mashru hand woven fabrics that are going into extinction due to lack of skilled weavers and industrialization. We collaborate with globally renowned non-profit organizations in India, which focus towards women empowerment and sustainable rural development through crafts and embroideries. All our products are made in sweat free women operated ethical workshops. Fairly traded, crafted with love.

(Founder and designer Ritu Jadwani) I am inspired by Indian craftsmanship and age-old embroidery techniques with a modern touch.

 I grew up in India and came to FIT to learn about the international fashion scene. With an undergrad fashion degree and Master of global innovation business degree I combine my skills and love towards hand crafted products.

Coming to FIT for the ESL Fashion Business Certificate Program was the best decisions I made in July 2008. It gave me immense exposure by attending a world-renowned institute and living in a fashion capital city, New York. The knowledgeable faculty mentors, resourceful library, world-class museum and its tours, extra seminars, graduation fashion shows, fashion and museum tours in the city, and my diverse fashionista classmates have been of great influence in starting my business. Fortunately, I got a chance to return to FIT in Summer 2013 for more courses and I hope I return again and again!

After finishing my studies at FIT and gaining some industry experience, I returned back to my country, India. Inspired by the local artisan’s hand crafting skills, I decided to launch my accessory and apparel brand to promote fair trade items and support the dying cottage industries of my town. We launched as a wholesale company at the NY NOW fair in New York, in February 2014. Soon we started supplying to stores that appreciated hand crafted colorful items. We hope to reach out to museums, hotels and more hand made stores by the end of this year. Recently we launched our online retail store on Etsy with worldwide shipping at nominal/free costs. Check out our new collection at NY NOW in the Global Handmade section in New York City from Aug 16th – 21st 2014.

We hope you enjoy our colorful products as much as we enjoy hand crafting them for you.
Namaste
www.namaste-nyc.com
https://www.etsy.com/shop/NamasteNycIndia
Thank you FIT!

Lifestyle companies…are we the 99%?

Lifestyle companies are, as partially defined by Wikipedia, businesses that are established and run by their founders with the primary aim of sustaining the founder and, secondarily, those who work for the founder.  Wikipedia says that the lifestyle owner wants to sustain a specific level of income that will give the owner a basis on which to live a particular lifestyle.  I think the definition is broader than that though.  A New York Times article offers other definitions: http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/is-the-term-lifestyle-business-an-insult/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0.  And here’s another question: at what point is a lifestyle company called a privately held company (one that does not have shareholders, or does an IPO)?   Mary Sullivan, a blogger, offers still another point of view on the subject:  http://www.allbusiness.com/business-planning-structures/starting-a-business/3878259-1.html
I also believe that lifestyle companies make up a large percentage of the tax base…after all, lifestyle companies don’t have lobbyists or have the kind of money it takes to wield enough power to get tax breaks for themselves.
As I’ve written about Natori, lifestyle, or privately held, companies have the advantage of being able to dictate exactly what the owners want to do with it.  This includes sustaining a high level of quality, ethics, etc. For fashion designers and others, this is important – it’s directly related to the owner’s vision.  I’ve seen lifestyle owners customize their products for clients – still another advantage.  Lifestyle companies also offer the owner the potential for a lot of individual freedom and flexibility in their lives.  Most companies who I come in contact with at the entrepreneur and other courses  I’m involved with (Fast Trac at Levin Institute, Licensing and Design Entrepreneurs NYC Mini-MBA program at FIT) and mentoring (Lang School of Entrepreneurship at Columbia University and Philadelphia Fashion Incubator), are lifestyle companies.
So while lifestyle companies are portrayed as “unglamourous” in the press and in certain communities, like Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley and the Route 128 corridor, they can often be a wise business decision and a road to success for the entrepreneur.  Here are some other opinions along the same lines.
What’s your opinion?
#lifestylecompany #startups #entrepreneurs #lifestylebusiness

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.