Jacqueline M. graduated from the Art Institute of Dallas with a fashion design degree and was promptly employed by a company that designs cheerleading uniforms, Varsity Brands. On the side, Jacqueline was designing her own clothes, and when she tried to sell her products through a variety of outlets, she realized how difficult it is for independent designers to enter the fashion industry. So, in 2008, the 23-year-old entrepreneur spent her savings on paying programmers to build a website where she could sell her designs. However, her vision was much larger than selling her own products; she wanted to help all beginner and independent designers make their products accessible and available to a wider market. Artists can post their designs on the website and if they sell anything, Jacqueline takes a 10% commission on the sale. The website launched in July of 2009 and she currently has 15 designers and over 100 products on the website!
Jacqueline has gained many new skills in the process of starting an online business, but one area that continues to be her biggest challenge is advertising. While her website design is attractive and workable, not enough people know about it yet. With this loan, Jacqueline will be able to hire an internet marketing specialist who will assist her in establishing the best practices in online advertising of her design business website.
Even though Jacqueline is a full-time employee and works on this website during her spare time, she still finds time to give back. She volunteers for the Texas’ Next Top Designer event by making fliers and finding sponsors. Jaqueline says, “My life is a little more stressful because I have no idea where this business will go in the future, but it's exciting and it's something I love to do for fun! It doesn’t even feel like work.”
Feel free to check out her website at www.designsociety.net.
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.