My experience with FIT DE program was phenomenal! I was so honored to be selected from out of state and gain the knowledge needed to take my business to another level through the guidance of industry professionals that I simply had no access to living in Houston. I left the program with a legitimate business plan, mentors, and new relationships (friends, mentors, colleagues) that I will continue to grow with through the upcoming years. It was definitely refreshing to know that I was not the only one going through specific business challenges. I left the program with a new found confidence that I can be a successful brand if I apply all that I learned in the program.
The program has proven to be one of the most impactful things that I could have done for my business. It was an intense few months of putting the business under a microscope while also looking at it as a whole in terms of growth and development. As a designer, I’m mostly wrapped up in the daily responsibilities but the program was a necessary step to bringing the company and brand to a new level.
DE FIT was a game-changing opportunity for our brand and business. Not only did we develop a comprehensive business plan with the help, insight and mentorship of seasoned industry execs - from finance, branding, operations and beyond - but we walked away with a clearer vision of how to grow our business. This business plan has also supported us in our current seed round of funding. We’ve also benefited greatly from the alumni network of FIT, from leveraging their resources such as the showroom and communicating with fellow alumni on business opportunities and challenges.
We were overjoyed to have been part of the FIT Design Entrepreneur program! FIT took us under their wing, even though we were not alumni nor from New York. We didn’t have any experience with producing a business plan and FIT prepared us and helped us focus. We ended up making it as a top four finalist in the program and we used the same plan to raise our first successful friends and family round! Since FIT, we’ve launched into some of the most prestigious retailers, grown our online sales and have improved our business operations.
The FITDE program was the ultimate crash course in building a Fashion brand. At Thistle & Spire we have operated the business through figuring it out on our own: blood, sweat and tears. FITDE gave us the tools and guidance to really take it to the next level. Many times as entrepreneurs the struggle can get lonely. The program gave us a platform to meet other entrepreneurs all going through the same hardships. Together we learned how to make each of our businesses stronger. As entrepreneurs at Thistle & Spire we literally live and breathe our brand everyday. We never stop thinking about it. The FITDE program allowed us to take our dreams and expand them even further with their incredible mini-MBA, cash prize (which helped us achieve the highest sales quarter ever), and a network of like-minded entrepreneurs, all hustling for their dreams.
I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be apart of the FIT Design Entrepreneurs Program. It was invaluable experience as a new brand to be surrounded and supported by other designers who have been in my shoes. The instructors, the courses we covered from finance to marketing, production and sales, having access to FIT resources and coming out of it all with a solid business plan and feedback from industry experts has given me the opportunity to get ahead of certain things in business while I’m still new so that I have a better chance at success.
DENYC firstly connected people that are passionate about what they do and they are carving a space for themselves in an incredibly saturated market place.The program gave me knowledge about numbers and projections I haven’t had before especially since my product is connecting the art and fashion and I was always struggling to reconcile the two.It provided concrete ideas about the digital space and helped me make my website relevant.It also solidified my stance in the fashion arena that I am not interested in massive growth and diluting my product rather keeping the high craft at the center of it and creating a community of supporters, of mentees and collaborations that are and will be the Oblik Atelier world at large.
This mini design MBA course really helped me on rethinking and improving my business. It made me look at my business much more realistic as there were many great classes/ lectures including finance and digital marketing classes. Also, as a small business owner, I already had so many things on my plate, and it was very challenging to dedicate my time to this 6 month course, and we had to write a business plan at the end. However, because of this program, now I have a professional business plan that has all my numbers and strategies for the next a few years. The best thing was that I met so many talented designers, and we learned from each other, and it’s a great asset for me to have this connection as a part of the community.