Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Meet the Interns - Erica

Meet Erica, a fantastic Design intern!

Erica Sanzeri
where you grew up - Bartlett, IL
why fashion? - I love all of the different choices that there are in fashion design. It can really bring out someones true personality. I love working with fabrics and detailing pieces with buttons and lace; the choices are unbelievable. When you are wearing something you feel good in, it can really boost your confidence and make you feel good about yourself.
what are you majoring in? Fashion Design
what do you want to do after school? At this point I'm really open to anything related to the fashion industry. Of course I'd love to design and market my own line eventually.
why Kate Boggiano? I loved the idea of working with Kate because she is a leader in Chicago fashion design. She is doing everything that I would like to someday do. She has her own remarkable fashion line and I am learning something new from her everyday. She's an outstanding fashion designer, business woman, and mentor.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Meet the Interns - Sanah


So here at Kate Boggiano, we rely on our awesome interns to do a lot of the work that comes in. Currently, we have 1 marketing/merchandising intern and 2 design interns. Today, meet Sanah, our Marketing/merchandising intern:


I’m Sanah Ahmad and I am originally from Naperville, IL. I currently live in Chicago where I go to the International Academy of Design and Technology. I am majoring in Fashion Merchandising and I graduate this year in June. I am super excited about that. My plans after I graduate is to hopefully work for a corporate office and become a buyer or on their marketing team or work for a magazine company and be on the marketing team for them. I love to go shopping, and predicting what is going to be in Fashion for the up coming seasons. What I don’t like is to see people with so much potential but overdue their look. I am currently an intern at Kate Boggiano. I came to intern with her because she was looking for someone that was interested in the marketing aspect of the company, also because our personality meshed very well together.


If you are interested in an internship in Kate Boggiano, please send your resume to contactus@kateboggiano.com Thank you!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My hiatus is over!

To any of you who started to read this, I apologize for not keeping up with it. Kate Boggiano has been growing and changing directions so quickly, it's been hard to keep up let alone write about it. However, I just hired a new PPC (pay per click) agency and they are INSISTING that I keep up with this, so we'll see how it goes.

So quick summary since the last post....we have rolled out a wholesale account which means we are now selling to stores in addition to our retail website and are picking up new stores often. This is exciting and is growing the brand a little faster than we were able to just through our website. You can check out a list of our current stores under the resources tab of our customer assistance page. Feel free to send us your favorite local boutique that you think our line would fit in and we'll send them some line sheets!
What else? Let's see, I can't really remember which is why I'll be keeping this up more - I promise!

Next week at a glance.

Well, it's fourth quarter again and for a retailer, it's make it or break it season. We are making lots of appearances at various sorts of retail events as well as working feverishly on our website to attract new business. We are very excited to be partnering with Position Technologies now who will be handling a lot of our website advertising. Hopefully we can get the web really going and I will no longer need to schlep my clothes all over the Chicagoland area trying to get the brand out there! Without further adieu, here's this week at a glance:

Monday, 11/10: Kate meeting with real estate agents at 1821 W. Hubbard to look at space for the business once the Incubator is over (can you believe Feb is the end of this already?)
Tuesday 11/11: Kate meeting with Julie Watson, a great Chicago stylist to see what we can do together.
Wednesday 11/12: Private event with Erin Gallagher (great new website with a jewelry customizer-check it out!)
Thursday 11/13: Kate attending the casting call for the new Bravo reality tv show "Fashion House" that will be replacing Project Runway (moving to Lifetime this season)
Friday 11/14: CATCH UP AT THE OFFICE!
Saturday 11/15: Trunk show at The Time Boutique in St. Louis, MO
Sunday 11/16: Drive back from St. Louis and take the rest of the day off!

Also this week, look for posts from my 3 most dedicated interns as we receive a lot of inquiries about what happens at Kate Boggiano on a typical day. What better ways to hear than from the people that do the most!

Funny weekend story!

So this Saturday, Geoff, my husband, and I were in the office working. I received a phone call from a customer and was taking her order over the phone when behind me I hear, "Kate, can you get off the phone? I would like you to meet the president of Macy's". I am halfway ignoring the voice which belongs to Andrea Schwartz, the PR guru behind the Macy's State Street store and trying nicely to get off the phone with a new customer. So a few seconds go by and I hear Geoff explain to what now sounds like a few people in my office that I am speaking to a customer and will be off shortly. So I get off the phone, turn around in my chair to see my very messy office (we had just unloaded from a trunk show at Florodora from the day before and the office looked like a closet that had thrown up clothing all over the room) and at that very same moment, it occurs to me just who is standing there in my office. Oh, it was just Tommy Hilfiger and Terry Lundgren, CEO of Macy's. No biggie, just another Saturday! So we all chatted for a bit and I think I hid my embarrassment of being un-showered in my rattiest sweatshirt I own with ZERO make up on while we discussed retail sales in the current economic slowdown and how this program has helped my company etc. etc. The second they (Tommy, Terry, Terry's wife Tina, their PR person, Ralph Hughes, and Andrea Schwartz) walked out of my office, Geoff and I both looked at each other and asked the same question: "Was Tommy Hilfiger really just in the office?" Just for proof that fashion designers do have off days when they don't want other people to see what they look like, I am inserting this picture that Geoff took of me on his brand new iPhone right after they left. CRAZY! What a terrible day not to wear one of my shirts!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Introduction and a little Background

INTRODUCTION

Hello! My name is Kate Coxworth and almost a year ago (wow that was quick!) I started my very first company, Kate Boggiano. Kate Boggiano is a women’s fashion company that makes high quality, great fitting women’s shirts, tops, blouses, and the occasional shirt jacket. Lately, I have been receiving a lot of: “Do you know who you remind me of? Anne Fontaine” a very flattering comment I might add (for those of you who don’t know Anne Fontaine, she makes beautiful blouses for women, primarily in a white and black color palette and her average price point is about $400.00.)

I decided to start writing a blog because I have received a lot of questions and interest from my customers about what occurs at kate Boggiano.com a daily basis. I figured a blog is a great way to explain a little more about our process as well as share some of the more interesting events that oftentimes occur surrounding our brand, Kate Boggiano.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND

Growing up, I always made things. From construction paper chains that I would use to decorate every room to making outlandish clothing for my dolls, I was always crafting and working with my hands. Unlike most fashion designers, don’t ask me to draw something first! I like to call myself a 3-D person with less than average 2-D skills. Ask my assistant designer, Katee, I’m a terrible drawer but ask me to draft a pattern for something that is 3-D and that’s no problem.

Anyways, I went to Indiana University for a bachelor’s degree in Biology/Pre-Med and walked away 4.5 years later (sorry mom and dad!) with a degree in fashion design. I never in a million years would have expected to major in fashion when I entered college. I was set on becoming a geneticist and spending my career finding solutions and cures to rare genetic illnesses. Well, that didn’t quite happen. Instead, I followed my dream, which until my junior year of college I had considered it a hobby, and switched majors to IU’s Independent Major Program with a concentration in Fashion Design. (Switching from something medical/science related is a fairly common theme among fashion designers. Little trivia for you….Vera Wang was actually a biology major! It is quite common!)

Taking the leap in college ended up panning out alright in the end. I graduated in December and by February, I had packed up all my earthly possessions in my car and drove out to New York City. After many trials, tribulations (including my car being stolen in East Orange, NJ), and joblessness in the beginning, I finally landed my first job in the fashion industry at Polo Ralph Lauren. I started at Polo as a technical designer for Women’s blue label. A technical designer is in charge of taking a sketch from a product designer (luckily, I didn’t have to draw it!) and translating it into a garment. This includes working with a patternmaker “making up” the garments specifications (exact measurements) before it is a garment. I was very good at this probably because of my math and science background, however, I grew very bored with it. My boss at the time, Sharon, and I would spend many hours getting a garment to fit perfectly only to find out that the merchants had only bought 5 units. To put it in perspective, when the merchants would buy only 5 units that would translate into the garment going into 2 out of our 1200 doors (doors=stores in merchandising). In real time this meant that approximately 300 people in somewhere, USA would be the only 300 people to see/buy this garment after Sharon and I had toiled for hours over aligning the belt loops with the pockets just right and shaving that last ¼ inch off the back rise. FRUSTRATION! So clearly, I decided after 1.5 years of that it would be a good idea to switch over to merchandising. So that’s what I did.

I started in Polo’s Men’s merchandising in order to make a difference in what happened with the “business” of Polo. What styles were getting out there in the biggest way (making it to ALL 1200 doors), while making sure to talk to the designers and technical designers to see what would fit the best and in the end, make the most sales. I really liked merchandising, but in August of 2006, Mayor Daley in Chicago announced the appointment of Melissa Turner to head up the City of Chicago’s efforts to create a fashion industry in Chicago, I knew it was my time to move home and start a business. (You can visit the city of Chicago’s website: www.chicagofashionresource.com to learn more about their efforts.)

In November of 2006 after moving back to Chicago from NYC, I marched into a local bank and showed them what I considered to be my brilliant business plan (which by the way, I told the bank that I would NEVER have ANY inventory-major mistake #1) and got my loan. By May 2007, Kateboggiano.com was up, live, and we had product to start selling! YIPPEE! I had this grandiose idea that the as soon as we went live, the phones would ring, the orders would come pouring in and I’d show everyone that I knew exactly how to build a business and make money my first year. Boy was I ever wrong!

Find out more about my trials and tribulation being and American Fashion Designer by checking back to this blog. In the interim, check us out at: www.kateboggiano.com.

Have specific questions you would like me to address? Please respond to this article and I will include your question in the next posting.

Stay tuned for the official launch of CREATE YOUR OWN SHIRT! CYO to be launched online Monday, April 7th at 9am EST. Make sure to check it out-it will change the fashion industry as we know it forever.

Live in the Chicagoland area? Tune in to ABC 7 at 11am on Monday, April 7th as Kate Coxworth will announce the official launch of CYO shirt/blouse live.