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WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF Fashion, Entrepreneurship, Sustainability + Tech.

WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF Fashion, Entrepreneurship, Sustainability + Tech.
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WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF Fashion, Entrepreneurship, Sustainability + Tech.




College Fashionista Founder Amy Levin Klein on Building The Go-To Global Network for Future Fashion Pros

Kicking off the fall season of the Spirit of 608 podcast, this week's episode features a badass female entrepreneur who built what has become the go-to Gen Y resource for aspiring fashion industry pros. Starting when she was barely out of college herself, this media innovator has spent the better part of the last decade growing an audience and network of contributors that now reaches over 1,000 universities and includes 20,000 contributors worldwide. Acquired by Who What Wear parent company...


How A Goth Girl Became the Go-To Bespoke Stage Wear Designer for Heavy Metal Rockers and Pro Wrestlers with Kim Dylla of Kylla Custom Rock Wear

In the final Spirit of 608 podcast episode before the August break, get ready for a conversation that rocks. Seriously. This week's guest is not only a FEST founder who relies on upcycling thrifted garments for the one-of-a-kind garments she creates. She's also the designer behind the eye-catching, other worldly bespoke stage wear you'll spot on some of the most loved heavy metal musicians and professional wrestlers out there today. Know nothing about either of these global subcultures? No...


Walking Away from A Completely Laced-Up Career to Pioneer 3D Printed Footwear from the Ground Up with OESH Shoes founder Dr. Casey Kerrigan

icture this: you've taken all the right steps to become one of the most highly respected academic physicians in your field. And then you walk away. To start a footwear company that relies on technology you have no experience with whatsoever. In fact, no one - not even may-jor footwear brands - have experience with this stuff. Because it's never been done. What's more, you actually have to build the machines deploying that technology yourself. With your own hands. What would you do? This...


Why A Beloved Ethical Fashion Startup Closed Up Shop To Embrace An Entirely Different Future in FEST with Helpsy's Rachel Kibbe

When this week's guest started building her ethical fashion startup, she had high hopes for its future. But after years of hustle to grow her store, a well-known favorite among many stylish urbanites seeking cool clothes with a conscience, she started feeling uneasy about the future. She knew continued growth meant pushing for ever-bigger sales numbers or seeking out investors, who would no doubt want to see huge returns. But beating the drum of buy more, buy now, buy, buy, buy didn't feel...


Building the First Luxury Vegan Handbag Brand + Moving Beyond Influencer Campaigns with Sugandh Agrawal of GUNAS

On this week's episode of the Spirit of 608 podcast, we hear from the founder of what is arguably the first luxury vegan handbag brand. In business for almost 10 years, this company has successfully navigated challenges that many FEST founders face, from sourcing high-quality materials that meet value-driven standards to finding ways to reach new audiences after the usual suspects (social influencer marketing campaigns, we're looking at you) start yielding less than stunning results. For...


How to Get Great Feedback & Collect Kickass Business Insights with Method + Mode Founder Rachel Swanson

How often are you collecting customer feedback and business insights that will help your business move toward an even more badass future? Do you even know where to start? This episode is all about how learning more about the Spirit of 608 audience turned into one of the most valuable things I did for my own business this spring - and how you can implement easy DIY strategies to get the same kind of information from your own customers and audience. Add in that this week's guest is a former W...


Failing Into a Better Future & Ditching Your Plan B with 12th Tribe’s Demi Marchese

Do you love a good fail-to-succeed story? If your answer is a resounding, internal air guitar of a yes, then you're going to love this week's conversation with a FEST-ive founder who, while still in her early twenties, turned job rejection into fuel for a company that's amassed diehard fans with its boho chic festival-inspired take on style, grown 300 percent year over year and graduated from its beginnings on a rack in her mom's living room to a Los Angeles warehouse. Add in the fact that...


Talking Better DIY Photography + Figuring out How to Work with Friends with M.Studios' Melissa Lacouture & Marisa Bettencourt

A theme around here at Spirit of 608 is making FEST brands more visible - and not just brands, but the founders behind them. Continuing our recent spate of Knowledge Drop episodes focused on bringing you actionable tactical advice from entrepreneurs who want to support FEST founders, we're focusing on (see what we did there) photography this week by bringing you a conversation with two badass wedding photographers who have recently begun collaborating with the Spirit of 608 and PressDope on...


Thinking Outside of the (Cardboard) Box and Changing How Retail is Done with LimeLoop Founder Ashley Etling

If there's one thing ethical fashion brands and values-driven product companies struggle with today, it's the problem of packaging. Sure, maybe it's not that sexy of a subject. But it's an arena ripe for change. Cardboard boxes and plastic mailers may seem like the only choices out there today, but today's guest would beg to differ. And not only that, she's stepping into the fray and aiming to bring a fix capable of changing how retail is done. Meet this week's guest, Ashley Etling, CEO of...


FEST, Facebook and Your Social Media Future with Bantam Social Media's Natasha Kalergis

It's a new Knowledge Drop episode that came at the right time for me - and I hope it will be arriving at the right time for you, too. After all, we've got these summer months to reconfigure what we're doing before the fall rush to the end of the year kicks in. Not only is this week's guest one of my favorite entrepreneurial ladies in Charlottesville, she's a down-to-earth straight shooter who knows way more about Facebook advertising and social media management than I ever could. Luckily for...


Live Media Strategy Session: Laying the Foundation for DIY PR with Kristen Sanders of K.Michael Jewelry

We're back with a live media coaching episode for the first time in months. In today’s episode, you’ll hear a live media strategy session with a FEST founder and Spirit of 608 Facebook group member who needs help building a path to press coverage for her Bay Area-based jewelry collection. Like many ethical fashion entrepreneurs, she is beyond dedicated to what she does and looking to take her business to the next level. Listen in for a conversation sure to help any entrepreneur lay the...


How Modjewel's Eliana Ghantous Used DIY Strategies to Land Press in FastCompany + More

It's all well and good to know DIY PR and media outreach are possible for emerging fashion brands and fashion startups, but how does it actually work and what happens along the way? In today's Knowledge Drop episode of the Spirit of 608 podcast, we have a FEST founder who's sharing her experience - from the first round of outreach she did that garnered zero responses to the pitch she sent that landed her innovative handbag company in FastCompany and other publications. Meet this week's...


All About Ethical Fashion Branding with Marisa Flacks of RISE Creative Co.

We're diving into branding again on the Spirit of 608 podcast this week - and for good reason: it's consistently one of the top puzzles independent fashion companies have to sort out. And let's not forget: you can't really ever just "sort it" and move on. Great branding requires upkeep and evolution, as well as a helluva lot of content to communicate the right messages over time. But enough about the challenges - you know those. What you want to know is how to crack that nut, like yesterday?...


Glad I Asked: My Questions, Your Answers + Why It Matters

How often do you ask questions? Lately, for me, the answer to that has been a lot more than usual. Yes, as the host of the Spirit of 608 podcast, I'm used to posing questions to the guests who come on the show each week. But as many of you who listen know, I've been looking to what the future of the Spirit of 608 will be. And that's led me to ask even more questions. I've asked those of you who listen to the podcast, the members of the Spirit of 608 Facebook group, random people sitting...


Putting Brand DNA Before Dollars with The Fashion Business Plan Author Bako Rambini

In this week's episode, we have the first princess to grace the Spirit of 608 podcast - and the first guest with a finance background to tell us to stop and think about something more than numbers and money in order to build a brand that will attract enough of an audience to, you know, produce impressive numbers and money. Not sure how that works? Curious why this week's guest says locating brand DNA matters even more with a fashion business than in other industries? Want to know how you get...


How Karla Mora Launched Sustainable Fashion's New Eileen Fisher-Backed Venture Fund to Fuel the Future of Fashion

What is the future of sustainable fashion? Ask this week's guest, and she's likely to tell you it's about a lot more than consciously-made clothes. In fact, as the founder of a new venture fund backed by none other than Eileen Fisher herself, the FEST-ive voice we'll be hearing in this episode of the Spirit of 608 podcast is quick to explain how - and why - innovations that go beyond what's hanging on the racks are the drivers of change she and the fund she started earlier this year are...


My Green Closet Vlogger Verena Erin Polowy on Working with Ethical Fashion Influencers the Right Way

How can brands work with ethical fashion influencers? This week, we have insight and advice from a YouTube vlogger and blogger who's grown an enthusiastic following with her sunny, approachable style and spot-on tips for capsule wardrobes, slow fashion and conscious shopping. With her easygoing attitude and streamlined approach to style, you might mistakenly think this week's guest just breezes through her business. But behind-the-scenes, this sustainable fashion influencer is hard at work...


Getting Real on Starting Up, Figuring it Out on the Fly and Finding Mentors with Organic Baby Brand Founder Monica Royer Monica + Andy

Where do you find great mentors? Heck, where do you even find a basically-okay-most-of-the-time mentor? It helps to be the founder of one of the most talked-about baby brands around, one with a thriving fan base that not only scoops up its organic apparel and layette sets, but also comes to hang out with the company and connect with other moms in person through retail Guideshops that double as hubs for community events. Wait a second, you're probably now saying...Guideshops...where have I...


How Perrin Paris is Reinventing Ethical Luxury for the next 100 years with Instagram Influencer Olga Pancenko

Luxury is changing. How it used to be: big names, recognizable logos, It girls carrying It bags. But technology and a swelling desire on the part of shoppers to know what's happening behind the scenes of the brands they sink their dollars into are opening the doors for a new scenario, one where luxury isn't simply about brand reputation and price, but also intimately connected to how something is made, the team who makes it possible and why it's being made in the first place. You might say,...


Silicon Valley Vet Mauria Finley on Finding the Joy in Stress, Structured Living and Standing Out in a Crowded Market

What's it like to found your first startup in your late 30's after a successful Silicon Valley career where you've worked at someone of the biggest names in tech, then watch that company get acquired for $50M and next - instead of just kicking back and enjoying the fruits of your labor - going on to launch yet another startup in what is arguably a pretty crowded space? You'll get that story, plus a lot more in this conversation with the founder of Allume, an on-demand personal shopping...