#FCfreshstart – WRAP UP!

Fresh start

Several months ago we launched a new program called Fresh Start.  This program is my pet project, and I’m proud to say we are wrapping up the first run of this program with a huge success!  The idea was to work with one designer and help walk them through a process that would help them design just three pieces that would REALLY sell.

Our emphasis in the program is on business success through market research, audience engagement, thorough refinement of samples before production and then marketing.  Proper attention to each of these steps is the roadmap for success for independent designers in our experience.


If you’re an independent Toronto designer of clothing, jewellery or accessories, and you’re looking for a career boost, check out this program!  APPLY HERE before September 30, 2015.


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Working with independent designers for almost 20 years has shown me the pitfalls in the existing fashion industry model.  Most designers try to do some version of designing a full collection, getting it in front of buyers and hoping for sales. And to succeed this has to be repeated with each new season!  With this risky and costly model, no wonder being an independent designer is so tough to succeed at!

I’ve seen that independent designers can succeed by focusing in on less pieces and working on perfecting them.  This allows them to really get everything right- fit, fabric selection, comfort and style details – and then they can work to sell those pieces through. From this base of successful pieces, a designer can make variations- a new neckline, longer sleeves, more colours or prints.  It’s expanding a repertoire like this that really builds solid success over seasons.


This was some of the early promotion of the program.


I designed the Fresh Start program to be a road map to that success.  Starting with customer surveys, the designer finds out what customers are really looking for.  Six sketches are created which are shared by social media, and customers vote on which three to produce.  Samples and made, tweaked and perfected, and all the steps are shared with the public along the way for voting and feedback.  By the time the garments hit the racks, the customers have helped make all the decisions and are eagerly awaiting the product launch!

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Here’s Alanna Klatt proudly modelling her first piece available for sale. She’s finishing up the other two and they will arrive in our store soon.

Now we’re looking for our NEXT designer to work with!  Are you a designer who wants this kind of boost and mentorship?  Review the #FCfreshstart blogs and social media posts to learn more about the program, and if you’re like to apply, here’s the link to the application!

Thanks to all those who supported Alanna with feedback and votes!  It’s easy to see the future is bright for this designer and entrepreneur!


Laura-Jean Bernhardson

CEO and founder of Fresh Collective

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About freshcollective

Fresh Collective has carved out its niche in Toronto’s fashion scene for the shopper who loves something a little different! We specialize in local designers, and our products are unique, or few of a kind. Our store is beautifully curated, offering our customers an amazing selection of fabulous clothing and accessories.

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