As part of the week’s line-up, Startup Fashion Week (SFW) Toronto hosted a Business of Fashion Conference. The event provided a forum for new and more experienced entrepreneurs to exchange ideas, learn and network through panels and presentations.
Audience members had an opportunity to hear first-hand from a variety of panelists and speakers about what inspired them to launch their own ventures, the challenges they faced, and how each one approached the daunting task of starting their own business.
Nikole Mutombo (below left), Assistant Producer of SFW Montreal moderated one of the panels. Her wit and warmth encouraged panelists to share their experiences in a candid and open manner.
There were common themes that arose in the discussions. For some of these talented individuals, the aspect that they found most challenging was promoting their businesses through networking, social media and other platforms.
All agreed that collaboration and resourcefulness was key. Looking for opportunities to pool talents, skills and resources allowed them to expand their capacities and accomplish more than by going it alone. For example, Selo Karakatsanis (below left), designer of an ethically produced and sustainably sourced line of men’s street style clothing line Ageselao, has struck up a partnership with Tap2Tag, a technology firm that produces devices that help designers ward off counterfeiters and safeguard their intellectual property.
Other presenters provided practical advice for new entrepreneurs. Inessa Radostin (pictured below), owner of luxury organizational tools company Mod Mode Designs, imparted advice on time and priority management for maximum productivity. Rick Amaral (first photo), VP of Strategy at Jacknife Design, took the audience through a crash course in brand strategy and management.
What struck me as unique and special about SFW was captured by Nikole Mutombo’s comment “If you are a baby in the fashion industry, this (SFW) is for you.” Nothing exemplified this better than speaker Cyril Guirguis (pictured below), founder of an exciting new app for people seeking personal styling services. The app, Stylify, is set to launch in December 2018. The audience welcomed the concept and were very encouraging. The feeling of community and support could be felt in the room.
Thanks to Jodi Goodfellow and the SFW team for creating a nurturing and safe space for budding fashion entrepreneurs to sow the seeds of their future success. For more information please visit the SFW website at https://startupfashionweek.com/