Eye On Chicago Fashion. The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center’s New Sticthes Fashion Program Is A Big Step In The Right Direction. Second City Style Fashion Blog

December 8, 2006 • Fashion


Finally! A Chicago program aimed at really trying to ensure the success of up and coming fashion designers. The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center’s new Stitches Fashion Program will provide fashion entrepreneurs with the tools they need to become successful…Strategic Business Planning. As someone who would love to see this actually happen, thinks the AIBI has passed it’s expiration date and needs to move over, and has a business degree specializing in marketing and business development…this is music to my ears.

Fashion designers and manufacturers (hopefully) will no longer have to flee to the East or West Coast to be successful.  At least that is what the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center hopes will happen.  Midwest fashion entrepreneurs will soon find the help they need to become successful businesses in Chicago through the CEC’s Stitches program.

This newly-created fashion program aims at fashion entrepreneurs in all stages of development.  First, start-up entrepreneurs will receive information specific to fashion in the Midwest.  This includes the Fashion First Steps packet and access to bi-annual seminars.  Once tracked and successful, the CEC will offer those entrepreneurs individual services including financing and sales and client development.

“We hope to make Chicago a fashion destination,” said Jason Felger, Managing Director, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.  “We don’t want to change the image and services of Chicago, just add to them.”

Stitches purports to be different than other Chicago programs because it allows the market to dictate who is successful before the entrepreneur receives the CEC’s assistance.  Start-ups given the Fashion First Steps packet need to self-initiate their business. Only after the business has been running for a year, has products in five boutiques and has online sales, will the CEC offer its individualized financing and development services.

“Entrepreneurs have to prove that they are passionate enough to be successful.  Passion and drive are essential qualities in an entrepreneur,” said Jay Moore of Maddie Powers, the CEC’s first fashion client.

The CEC works with fashion entrepreneurs that specialize in apparel, accessories and jewelry on:

  • Preparing for and raising capital
  • Counsel and review of financial statements
  • Financial modeling
  • Assistance in identifying appropriate outside resources
  • Loan packaging and syndication
  • Company positioning and messaging
  • Channel and market analysis
  • Marketing & PR assistance
  • Retail and wholesale strategies

For more information visit Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center

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