It takes a village to launch a start-up

Phew, I'm still here. It's been a year since I launched into my first season as a women's outerwear designer. What people don't know, is that prior to that, I spent two years in development and that most of those years were spent working on this project in isolation. Nancy, my graphic designer, was the first "villager" in to visit my small village.

Since that launch, many more "villagers" have helped me navigate this first year in business. Some have been long time friends, others were complete strangers, and all shared the common goal that they wanted to help me succeed. Many helped me for free, some even dipped into their own pockets and those who were paid usually accepted only small bits of compensation for their massive efforts. It's no secret that launching a start-up requires capital, which for a small designer like myself is in limited supply.

Thankfully, I have my village.

Before I launch into my second fall/winter season I wanted to take a minute to thank my village. Some of who appear in this video and two of whom without, it would have never happened. Please read my Sally Field Oscar acceptance speech below. Because, I like you. I really like you. And yes, I am talking to you so please read.

Thank you to:

Megan and Zach, the two aspiring filmmakers who created this film about my brand. They came to every event (even the ones that weren't eventful) and worked tirelessly on this project. I was constantly amazed by the work ethic of these two beautiful strangers whose one-minute film is a result of months of hard work and love.

My girlfriends, who came to all my trunk shows and events so that I could step away to go to the bathroom. They appeared in the video, bragged to their friends about the brand, and made introductions and recommendations for me at every turn.

My interns, who do just as much work as I do, cutting and sewing alongside me every day. My interns have been the behind the scenes help that get me through my days.

My friend Tara , a former marketing guru turned stay-at-home mom, who texts me reminders to post on social media, sometimes posts "as me" when I forget, and even posted on social media from her own pocket. Tara - you are too much.

My sister, who introduced me to an awesome PR agent who in turn introduced me to a handful of local magazine editors (for free!) To those editors, who published my work and shared my story.

My best client, Manya who may have purchased every piece I've ever designed and who volunteered to model for the fall campaign. I'm constantly asking her if she was secretly hired by my parents but she insists that she really just likes the brand.

All the boutique owners who purchased my products. They took a chance on a newcomer which is not easy when you run your own small business.

The factory owners and workers who know more about sewing then I do and never get any credit for their knowledge and hard work.

Every model, blogger, photographer and stylist that I have ever worked with.

My husband, and kids who have supported me with love every step of the way and have quietly accepted the fact that we will never have groceries or a clean house again.

My parents, who never encouraged me to get a real job.

AND YOU - my subscribers and followers who hit "like," open up my emails, share my story. You have performed acts of encouragement along the way (whether you knew it or not). Your kind words, your purchases, and your support keep me going every day.

THANK YOU, YOU are my village! Looking forward to another year with you by my side!

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