10 Do’s and Don’ts for Launching a Fashion Brand on Kickstarter

This article was originally posted on the Factory45 blog on August 23, 2017.

This is a guest post by Factory45’er Dina Chavez who launched a Kickstarter campaign this spring for her womenswear line SixChel. Dina raised over $17,000, exceeding her goal amount, and learned a lot along the way. Today she’s sharing her “do’s and don’ts” for launching a sustainable fashion brand through crowdfunding. Here’s Dina:

-Shannon, Founder of Factory45

Capsule Collection by Factory45’er Dina Chavez, Founder of SixChel

It’s been about a month and a half since the launch of my fashion brand’s first sustainable capsule collection via Kickstarter.

The campaign was definitely a whirlwind, but now that the dust has settled and we are at the beginning stages of production, we have been able to clear the air and evaluate the process.

I realized that there were definitely a few things we should have done differently before and during the campaign and definitely a few things we should not have done at all.

It is a lot easier to look back and say, “I should have…” and because this information is no longer beneficial to us as far as Kickstarter campaigns are concerned, I decided to share my experiences with you in hopes you do not make the same mistakes I made.


DO think about public relations: If you have the budget to hire a public relations team, I definitely encourage you to do so. I was fortunate to work with Lorraine Sanders of PressDope, a DIY PR company “increasing earned media mentions” for FEST brands.

Months before the launch of the Kickstarter campaign, we were able to create public awareness of our brand, our story, our products and our launch which helped us increase our audience.

>> TIP: Start planning your PR strategy and media outreach now; you can never start preparing early enough

DO review the Factory45 “Preparing to Launch” module: If you are a current member of Factory45 or are thinking about becoming one, this has been one of the biggest benefits for me.

The information provided by Shannon during the “Launch” module is very beneficial and should guide you to a successful campaign. I reviewed everything about Kickstarter through the module about a few weeks before I launched.

>> TIP: Review the “Launch” module about a month or sooner before you launch.

DO plan an announcement launch strategy: In order to have a big boom at the beginning of your launch, it is important to have a strategy to announce your launch.

Your audience needs to not only get excited about your brand and product, they also need to get excited about the actual launch. This will help them spread the word out to their friends and family, increasing your audience.

>> TIP: Find a creative and exciting way to get your audience excited about your launch and eager to make a pledge on the first day.

DO host a trunk show or two: Selling products online can be tough, especially if you are a new fashion brand because people want to see and feel the product. We hosted four trunk shows throughout the campaign (unfortunately, we came up with this idea a bit too late into our campaign) and because of these trunk shows, we were able to show the brand in action on social media which did bring added attention to our campaign.

Trunk shows also helped keep up the momentum and eventually, turning interest into pre-orders, email sign-ups, followers, etc. Most importantly, because of the trunk shows, we were able to share images of our products on “normal” or “non-model-esque” women.


> >TIP: Find a location to host a trunk show where you can get good foot traffic. Also, think about asking friends to host private, more personal trunk shows amongst their friends.

DO be creative and have giveaways: People love the word “free”; anything anyone can get for free, whether an item or knowledge, will peak their interest. Offer an item, a selection of items, or a donation on their behalf in exchange for emails, follows, and/or pledges. Sometimes we need a bit of encouragement to find a reason to give a part of ourselves.

> TIP: Consider having small items to giveaway at your trunk shows in exchange of email addresses.

Capsule Collection of Factory45’er Dina Chavez, Founder of SixChel


DON’T forget to have your products related to “real women”:

It helps to have “real” women/men (depending on your product) wear the clothes and/or use the product. When I say, “real,” I don’t mean fashion influencers or professional brand ambassadors; I mean people like you and me. Ask “real” people to wear the garments, take pictures and talk about how great the product is on their social media accounts.

>> TIP: Create a list of friends and/or acquaintances who would love to wear your products for a day. Create a hashtag that will help increase awareness about your brand.

DON’T let people procrastinate: People truly do procrastinate and it is up to you to find a way to get them motivated to make a pledge and to pledge right now. It will be vital to find different ways to motivate people to act “now.” This is a hurdle throughout the entire campaign.

>>TIP: Be creative in your incentives; they truly need to give the audience something in return.

DON’T feel bad about approaching people: This was difficult for me because I am not much of an aggressive person in this way, but you will have to personally message people individually and ask them to consider pre-ordering and/or making a pledge.

Most of our pre-orders came from personally messaging people about our mission and campaign. The response you get will surprise you. Most people were gracious and extremely honest and the best part about the messages was the words of encouragement that were sent back.

> TIP: Don’t get upset or frustrated with the rude people; there are always the people with no compassion for your honest hard work. Just ignore them.

Capsule Collection by Factory45’er Dina Chavez, Founder of SixChel

DON’T get caught up with bloggers/brand influencers: During this process, I have definitely made great connections with wonderful bloggers and/or brand influencers. It is important to know that not all bloggers and/or brand influencers are created equal.

You will find some who are just interested in making money and not truly interested in sustainability and or properly promoting your brand. Find those who are genuine to your cause.

>> TIP: Pay bloggers/brand influencers who you know do honest work and who create write-ups that excite their readers about your brand.

DON’T give up: I think you can prepare, over prepare and then over prepare the wrong way. No matter what happens when you launch your Kickstarter campaign, remember you have 30 or so days to reach your goal.

I have to admit, I completely freaked out the entire first week of the campaign, ask Shannon. Plans A, B and C completely fell through for us and for a few days I was having no luck creating new ideas to promote the campaign. Luckily, I found a great group of women to network and brainstorm with and together they helped us reach our goal.

>> TIP: Gather a list of your network and resources, you will never know who will be able to help you when you find yourself in a bind.

Launching our collection via Kickstarter was a great way to get our brand out into the community and to move forward with production. We now know, that as a first time user of Kickstarter, you are definitely in for an experience. Good luck and much success on your launch!

5 Blogs to Follow for Style, Inspiration and Wellness

My go-to Blogs Right Now

Above Photo:  Instagram Post via @whowhatwear

I have recently become a blog junkie. There is nothing better than reading a blog of style or inspiration, local or national that gets my brain working in the right direction. I have a long list of blogs I subscribe to right now, but there are a few that I am always following that have been catching my eye as of late.

Nationally Known Blog

Who What Wear


Fashion + Style Decoded

Who What Wear is the leading online destination for aspirational yet accessible fashion content that is elevated, serviceable, and 100% shoppable. Through trend reports, celebrity style guides, wardrobe how-tos, and the latest in fashion news, Who What Wear is your one-stop style resource.

Why I Love It

There is usually a list of style advice that is easy to transform into your personal style. I especially love the occasional “French-girl” style advice you can find on Who What Wear.

ATX Blogs

Dressed to Kill Austin (DTK)    


Dressed to Kill owner, Ashley Hargrove, is a commercial advertising wardrobe stylist, model

Instagram Post via @dtkaustin 

and fashion blogger sharing her personal style and tips as well as behind the scenes of her many advertising projects. Ashley has styled and modeled for many well-known companies and brands including Neiman Marcus, BMW, Bud Light and many more.

Why I Love It

Ashley’s style is beyond Austin. It is refreshing to see fashion elevated beyond flip flops in the ATX.

Camille Styles


A Healthy Life. Well Styled.

Every moment is an opportunity to inspire, create, and explore. Here at Camille Styles, we focus on the daily decisions that allow us to embrace those opportunities. Discover a fresh approach to style through fun ideas for the wardrobe and home.

Collage of Instagram Posts via @camillestyles

Try delicious market-fresh recipes that are perfect for dinner tonight. Take advice from inspiring influencers on health, fitness, fashion, beauty, and professional goals at a site that views every aspect of clean living through a glamorous lens. We hope to inspire healthy choices and happy, beautiful lives.

What I Love About It

I just found Camille Styles’ blog a couple of weeks ago and was immediately drawn to the healthy aspect of the blog. She is also very interactive on IG and it makes it feel personal, like she is your friend and is encouraging you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Inspiration Blog

Woman on the Fence


This blog was created for all women who have ever been on the fence… In Life. In Business. In Love. In anything. Period.

We are bright. We are dynamic. We are educated. We are perfectionists. We are tired. We love our husbands. We hate our husbands. We love our kids. Our kids annoy us. We want to work. We can’t juggle it all. We expect two dozen roses on our anniversary. We give. We get. We’re happy. We’re discouraged. We’re intuitive. We’re funny.

Instagram Post via @ericadiamond – Blogger of Woman on the Fence 


We’re women. Black. White. Asian. Hispanic. Native. Through it all, we stick together.
Therefore my ladies, the goal of this Blog is to teach, inspire and unite all women. To let you all vent your frustrations about living life on the fence. It’s time to make a move. It’s time to GET OFF THE FENCE! It’s time to make up or break up. It’s time to quit your job. It’s time to enroll in medical school. It’s time to come out of the closet. It’s time to speak your truth. It’s time to start LIVING YOUR LIFE!

Why I Love It

Do I need to tell you after just reading their about story? It inspires me to achieve my goals no matter what and Woman on the Fence always gets me thinking in the right direction.


Peaceful Dumpling


Article posted by Peaceful Dumpling “Sorry, French Ladies. This Spanish Beauty Secret for Firm Skin is Game-Changing”.

PD is where you can find your latest healthy eating and health news, holistic tips, fitness and yoga tutorials; cruelty-free, feel-good beauty ideas; delicious vegan recipes; eco-friendly style and conscious living tips; and your motivation, inspiration, confidence, and kindness. We could tell you that we’ve accomplished it, but our readers said it best!

Why I Love It

This blog has so many different eliminates to it’s heathy lifestyle message.  From sustainable clothes to vegan recipes and an overall positive attitude.

But I’ve been doing my best to effect change through writing, which comes very naturally to me. You have something only you can do so well, and the key is to be the best version of that. Don’t feel tempted to imitate–you can be the most effective if you’re staying true to yourself.     -Peaceful Dumpling

Celebrating Innovation in Fashion During Women’s History Month

Fashion has always been a revolutionary and evolving practice amongst all cultures, creeds and the sexes. It is in women’s fashion where some of the most intriguing innovations have occurred and Women’s History Month is the perfect time to highlight the fun, creative and progressive innovators that have and are changing women’s fashion.

Three Women Who Innovated Fashion

Fashion has always been a revolutionary and evolving practice amongst all cultures, creeds and the sexes. It is in women’s fashion where some of the most intriguing innovations have occurred and Women’s History Month is the perfect time to highlight the fun, creative and progressive innovators that have and are changing women’s fashion.

The Rebel

Married at 14 and Queen at 19, Marie Antoinette was considered

Marie Antoinette

the most beautiful and fashionable, hated woman in France in the mid to late 1700’s. She quickly became “scandalous” as upon her arrival to France to marry the future King Louis XVI, she refused to wear her corset. During her younger years, Marie Antoinette was known as the first ever shopaholic devoting her life to fashion as she was not allowed to dabble into politics.

As she became a mother, her fashion matured and she wanted more simple and flowing dresses which became known as “The Queen’s Shirt”. This was a societal problem because Queens were not allowed to wear a “maid’s dress”.

Jimmy Bakius for Sweedish Elle: Marie Antoinette Ballet Couture Photo Credit: Pinterest


Marie Antoinette’s legacy in fashion has continued to thrive after her death. To this day, she is still a fashion icon and her style inspires the greatest courtiers of the world like John Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld.


The Kept Woman

Coco Chanel, whose real name is Gabrielle was the innovator of comfort in women’s fashion. Chanel is the basis of sportswear (sportswear in the fashion world is what is worn during the day, not clothes you wear to play sports).

Coco Chanel                                        Photo Credit: Pinterest


This innovation began with a dress she made out of jersey fabric.  It was from this jersey dress that Chanel’s business expanded.  In the 1920’s, The Suit was created by Coco which she modeled after a man’s suit looking for comfort which was the complete opposite of the trends of that time. Another innovation and my ultimate favorite is The Little Black Dress, a staple in today’s closet. With the creative mind of Karl Lagerfeld Chanel is still on top as a multi-million dollar luxury business and one of today’s most recognizable luxury brands with their signature strands of pearls, quilted purses and yes, The Suit.

“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury”. – Coco Chanel

The Entrepreneur

Shannon Whitehead Lohr             Sustainable Fashion Advocate – Founder of Factory 45

It is amazing what you can do today with technology and because of it fashion is evolving and opportunities are growing all because of innovators like Shannon Whitehead Lohr. For the past year, I am proud to say that I have been working with Shannon, the founder and CEO of Factory 45, an avenue to take idea to launch for sustainable fashion companies being produced in the Unites States. We are currently living in an environmental crisis and many fashionistas, entrepreneurs and consumers are taking action through the fashion industry to find solutions to the problem. After starting her own sustainable clothing company, Shannon realized that there was a need to assist other fashion brands that wanted to accomplish the same ethical and sustainable practices she strives to achieve.

Takes sustainable apparel companies from idea to production.

Factory45 is the result of that idea and Shannon has now worked with over 150 companies to help accomplish their goals. “She’s been named thought leader for the future of fashion by Ecouterre and Triple Pundit”. As a fashion innovator, I asked Shannon if she could share a few thoughts with us. I asked her 5 questions and her responses are below.

The Questions

 • Do you see yourself as a woman who has made a positive impact today? 

I like to think so. I’m not perfect, by any means, but in every decision I make I’m conscious of doing what I believe is right.

• Who was the woman you wanted to emulate as you set out to accomplish your goals? 

I don’t think there was one woman in particular who I idolized or tried to emulate — I think I mostly just set out to be a woman that I could personally respect. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror everyday and be proud of the person I’ve become and for me, that means having integrity and doing what I say I’m going to do.

Instagram Post via @factory45co

It’s really important to me to be a woman that can be relied on, is level headed, down to earth and relatable. I don’t want to ever be an “internet celebrity” or “guru” — I just want to be someone who helps other people create beautiful and conscious products.

• Where would you like to see women’s roles in the future and is it up to us to truly seek equality? 

Equal pay and paid maternity leave would be a start. I’m lucky to have worked for myself my entire career so although it doesn’t directly affect me, it’s something that I still feel very strongly about.

And I don’t believe it’s solely up to us, as women, to seek equality. The majority of positions of power are made up of men, so where does that leave us? You can only get so far when you’re slogging through mud on a 90 degree slope. Both men and women need to be apart of the solution — and there are no excuses not to be.

I believe being a feminist should be a non-partisan position.

• There are a number of sex strikes throughout history that were successful. With today’s clout over sexism and women’s rights, should we as a mass conduct in sex strikes to “wake people up” about the reality of sexism in America today? 

Sure. I’m all for thinking outside the box and doing whatever we can to bring attention to the movement. The Women’s March and #DayWithoutAWoman were great starts and have definitely helped to enliven the conversation.

Instagram Post via @factory45co

• Do you have words of advice for younger women who seek a need for equality? 

Don’t be apathetic. My fellow white women can use their privilege to help our minority sisters, and we shouldn’t be afraid to. Speak out when you see instances of injustice and don’t shut down. There are a lot of reasons to be silent, but there are even more reasons to be on the right side of history.



“Marie-Antoinette, Queen of Fashion | Girls Guide to Paris. “N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 20017.

“Marie Antoinette.” Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 28 Oct. 2016. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.

“Coco Chanel.” Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 10 Jan 2017. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.

“Home.” Shannon Lohr. N.p., n.d.Web. 16 Mar. 2017