Nashville Fashion Raises $100K (E. J. Boyer, Nashville Business Journal)

Posted 05/22/2015

The newly formed Nashville Fashion Alliance, the city's first organized step toward building a sustainable fashion industry, passed its first big test last weekend.

The nonprofit organization hit (and surpassed) its Kickstarter fundraising goal, which was $100,000. The campaign, which ended the morning of May 16, secured $103,321 through 666 backers. The seed money will be used to fund programming and education events for Nashville's growing roster of fashion industry workers, from skilled seamstresses to stylists and designers.

The founders and board members behind the alliance, which launched in April, believe that with the proper infrastructure and support, Nashville has the opportunity to emerge as a fashion industry player, enhancing the city's creative economy and helping fuel job growth in the region.

The alliance has partnered with Catholic Charities, The Housing Fund and Omega Apparel, a privately owned factory, to create a sewing training academy for underserved populations and is talking with Metro schools about creating an apparel industry track in its Academies program.

The owner of Omega Apparel has plans to add up to 1,000 jobs at a factory he wants to build in Nashville in the next five years.

Although Nashville's designers involved in the alliance are well-known nationally, and the campaign was written up in national trade press, the campaign didn't reach its funding goal until the 11th hour. With two days left, the alliance had raised just more than $60,000 on Kickstarter.

"Our community has sent a message that is loud and clear with the success of our Kickstarter campaign," alliance CEO Van Tucker said in a release. "Our first priority is advocacy -- building this community and speaking as one voice to raise awareness of our industry's needs and economic impact."

SOURCE: Nashville Business Journal; May 22, 2015; Page 7

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