Launching a Clothing Line 101 - For Dummies

In February of 2017 Liz and I began meeting weekly to study Farsi and talk about our dreams for the future. Over the next couple of months we asked ourselves what it would take to help the Afghan women in our community access a western market with their sewing skills. Thus birthed Âdi Collective, a simple hope of ours to provide Afghan women market access, training on electric sewing machines, and skills necessary to work for US production companies or start a business of their own. The benefit a supplemental income would bring for families with 3-5 kiddos renting in Seattle’s housing market was obvious and desire for community among women was strong.

Liz and I decided to approach my friend and co-worker at the time, fashion designer Damian Emiliano and ask if he would create a shirt pattern for us. We thought we could save pattern design for someone more experienced while we focused on sharing our idea with our Afghan friends. Damian responded with an offer to create seven pieces for us, an Âdi Collective line designed by Damian Emiliano and asked if we wanted it to appear in an April 1 fashion show at BEMIS arts in Seattle. We agreed having no idea what we were getting into. The same week we were asked for our logo, a link to our website and bios from Liz and I. WHAM! We put Farsi aside and spent many late nights googling Squarespace edits and bribing photographer friends for head shots. We had to act like a clothing line before we knew the first thing about starting a company. Before we knew it, Âdi Collective launched and we would learn what was required of us in the months and year to come. We are still learning, and loving every minute.

Here is a glimpse of our launch! Huge thanks to our friends Austin Harris and Mary Campbell for capturing the craziness of this adventure! For those of you entrepreneurial spirits that are in the middle of the chicken and egg game, we know how you feel!

Meredith Seversen