Written in the spring of 2015:
How can we encourage modesty in the clothing industry? This is the question that Ana and Lia set out to answer back in April, 2014. Now, a year later, they are looking forward to hosting a conference for aspiring and self-taught apparel designers. Here’s a glimpse into the journey thus far.
Friends Ana and Lia are both avid seamstresses who love problem-solving. They didn’t know it at first, but last spring they were working on similar ideas. Both lamented the limited availability of modest clothing in stores and, after some brainstorming sessions together, they decided to take action.
Ana had noticed that modest clothing listed on Etsy often got buried among the thousands of other products, so she was pondering ways to make handmade modest clothing more visible online. She was also interested in finding cost-efficient methods for producing clothing.
Meanwhile, Lia was looking into the process of starting a small commercial clothing line. She loves design and had often toyed with various clothing line ideas, but until last year had never researched the industry. Unfortunately, the more information Lia found, the more questions she had.
Lia recounts the challenge: “As I investigated the process for starting and operating a clothing line, I was daunted by the task of searching out manufacturers. In vain, I sought step-by-step directions to guide me through the process. I read about the challenges of successful marketing and felt discouraged. That’s when the idea struck me—maybe I wasn’t alone. Maybe other aspiring designers felt the same way. Perhaps I could help. Instead of launching a clothing line, what if we launched a resource for the modest fashion community?”
Largely based on Lia’s struggles learning about the startup process for an apparel business, the friends developed an idea for an educational organization. Joined by a few others, they founded Modest Fashion Guild.
We care about quality of design and smart business practices, and we don’t think Christian designers need to compromise their values in order to learn these essential skills. It’s our goal to create a community where innovation thrives and where Christ is at the center of everything we teach and do. Through conferences and design challenges, we strive to educate self-taught designers about owning a home-based or small commercial clothing line.
Our strategy is simple: advance modesty in the clothing industry by reaching out to seamstress-entrepreneurs who share our vision and need help starting or expanding their businesses.
We have assembled a stellar team of established designers and owners of modest clothing lines to speak at our upcoming conference–July 17-18, 2015. Our amazing group of instructors will be teaching about Working with Garment Manufacturers, Crowdfunding (Kickstarter), Pricing Strategy, Being a Christian in the Design World, and a host of other topics.
Speakers include Lisa Blenman of Jade Mackenzie Apparel, Cindy Fowler of Modesty4Me, Olivia Howard of Fresh Modesty & Fresh Apparel Denim Co., and Rebekah Merkle, previously owner of Amoretti Designs. Local photographer Christina Hastings will also be sharing her expertise.
God has faithfully led us to just the right people and has opened door after door for us. We can hardly believe everything that has happened in the past months!
Share in the Action
Please join us in praying that the Lord will send participants whom we can serve, educate, encourage, and inspire. We hope to impact a number of designers, creating a community and equipping them to be beacons of righteousness in the clothing industry.
If you or someone you know has a passion for fashion design, you’ve come to the right place! This is your chance to participate in Modest Fashion Guild’s story by attending or spreading the word about our unique event. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for this conference!
Summer 2016 update:
We had a wonderful conference last summer, and we are happy to announce the dates of our 2017 conference: April 21 and 22!