Hi friends! MollyKate here, and today I have some pretty exciting news to share! For the second year in a row, I’ve been selected as one of the country’s top 10 designers to participate in Phoenix Fashion Week’s ‘Emerging Designer Bootcamp’.
Phoenix Fashion Week is different than any other fashion week in the country,because while other fashion weeks select designers to showcase on their runways each year, PHXFW is different because they work with each of their designers for 3 months leading up to the runway show.
In those 3 months leading up to the final runway show, the 10 designers go through ‘Emerging Designer Bootcamp’, which consists of coaching, lessons on the business of fashion, mini runway shows, competitions, homework assignments and much much more! (It’s basically continuing fashion college throughout the summer)
Throughout the bootcamp, designers compete against each other to earn points, and at the final runway show in October in Scottsdale, Arizona, they will announce the winning designer of the whole program! The winner will receive a prize package worth $10,000 for their clothing company.
So I know what you’re thinking: why are you doing the program AGAIN MollyKate?
I know, I know. I’m a little crazy for wanting to go through this exhausting, strengthening, and intense program all over again.
BUT! I believe in God’s timing, and I believe now is the time for me to work on growing my fashion line.
Last year, I didn’t get a fair shot during the program and let me explain why. A big part of bootcamp is to get your clothing manufactured at a higher level, that way designers aren’t sewing all of their orders themselves.
Bootcamp started out fantastic for me last year, but towards the end of the program, the manufacturer I was set up with ended up not being able to make my clothing, and what they were able to produce, wasn’t correct or done on time.
This ended up with me having to sew all 12 outfits for my final runway show all by myself in the 2 weeks leading up to the final runway show!
Not only that, but a lot of time and money was wasted, and I had to stop doing homework assignments, video calls with my coach, and all of the day to day parts of the program so that I could sit down and sew my collection! I definitely missed out on some vital parts of the bootcamp I wish I could’ve learned.
Now, I say all of this not to complain, but rather, be completely honest and transparent with all of you. Starting a clothing company is anything but easy. I can’t sit here and post pretty pictures on Instagram and act like I have it all under control because truth is, I’m far from it.
But on the bright side, the Phoenix Fashion Week Team is amazing! They supported me 100% during my whole manufacturing fiasco, and guided me through the whole process. (Yes, they actually walked me through how to fire someone on the phone)
So while I missed out on the tail end of bootcamp last year, I came back and totally knocked out the final runway show! (everyone loves a good redemption story right?!)
Best of all, PHXFW last year taught me how to be a business woman! I was only a teenager last year, but I learned that I needed to be a LLC and made that happen. I learned how to hire and fire production companies, I learned a lot about contracts and negotiations. I learned way more about finances than I’ve ever known, and don’t even get me started on SEO, wholesale/retail and pitching to investors!
I basically learned how to be a business woman, not just a fashion designer.
Thanks to the wonderful team at PHXFW, they invited me back this year and have set me up with a new manufacturer, so I can go through bootcamp again and grow my fashion brand even more this year! I am so thankful for this opportunity to be invited back, and I’m ready to make things happen this year! With this new class of designers, I can already tell it’s going to be great!
Below, I’m including a bunch of pictures from last year’s program! It makes me emotional to look at these pictures because I love each and every one of the designers SO MUCH!
Phoenix Fashion Week is truly a blessing. They have helped me take my brand into a business. My ideas into products. And my dream into reality. Stay tuned for MollyKate Cline on the runway at Talking Stick Resort, Oct.3rd-5th 2019!