I just entered the Wells Fargo Works Project Contest. You can help me win expert guidance and $25,000 by voting for Sugarcane. Check out my entry and vote by July 19th. No signups needed. Just click on the link, then click on "vote for this," and it's done.
In the photo above Amelia and I are both wearing clothing made out of hand loomed textiles at a Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center event. It was taken in February 2015 at the Wells Fargo Crocker Office Branch located at 1 Montgomery, San Francisco, a classic Italian Renaissance bank building designed by Willis Polk in 1908.
Hello! I am Ria Faust, owner of Sugarcane, a line of girls' clothing designed and sewn in California using artisan-made textiles.
I first discovered hand loomed textiles two years ago during a trip to the Philippines. I had the great fortune of meeting its makers personally. They were mothers and grandmothers, who were weaving to provide for their families, and their story resonated with me as a new mom. I decided to start Sugarcane to showcase their craft and introduce it to a new audience. Sugarcane's mission is to preserve the indigenous art of loom weaving and support its women artisans.
My biggest challenge today is production volume. Factories that sew clothes prefer to make more units per order because it is more efficient. However, since I sell only through my online shop, my quantities are smaller than most factories are willing to take. Fortunately I found a factory willing to work with my low volume because they believe in Sugarcane. I would like to open up the wholesale business so that I can increase my production quantity and efficiency. Because Sugarcane is so specialized and hand loomed fabric take a long time to produce, my production will still be small even with wholesale orders, but a wholesale component will make a considerable difference in my business. I am committed to manufacturing locally in California, where I live and work.
The business opportunities I would like to take advantage of in the next five years include having a consistent presence in a children's wear trade show in order to establish the brand and grow the wholesale business; developing relationships with weaving communities in the Philippines and investing in their growth; collaborating with weavers to do custom color combinations so Sugarcane can continue to provide unique and special items.
With mentorship and $25,000 Sugarcane can manufacture the spring 2016 line; pre-order fabrics for the fall 2016 line; fund the way to the Playtime trade show in New York to get my product in more children's specialty boutiques; and test custom colors of hand loomed textiles.
Many thanks much for supporting Sugarcane, women entrepreneurs, the hand loom tradition, and California manufacturing!
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