Breaking into the fashion biz can be intimidating and scary. Fashion is constantly changing (..and as of lately merging with the techies) so keeping up with all the latest trends, news, fashion weeks, and new apps can be overwhelming. On top of all of that you have to consistently network at different events and if you don’t know where these events are or who is hosting, that could potentially be a problem, right? Yes.
Now, I’m not trying to scare anyone because working in the fashion field is quite rewarding and totally fun but if you don’t know how or where to get your foot in the door you just might have some questions. FashionMingle.net is a network for fashion entrepreneurs and has the answers to all your who’s, what’s, where’s, and more!
FashionMingle.net builds a platform for fashion businesses to promote their services and grow their business by having webinar series, online magazine, business directory, and social network. FashionMingle.net offers technical and marketing support in the following areas:
FashionMingle.net is truly a game changer. This radical new platform literally will help build your fashion career AND help drive your business. Melissa Shea is the intellect and creative director behind this brilliant amenity that brings much-needed exposure to local fashion communities. Melissa has spent 20+ years in the creative industry by constantly learning about the “next new thing.” She has a background in graphic, web, photography, and videography skills which she uses to develop opportunities for fashion entrepreneurs. She has covered New York Fashion Week for various outlets for 9 seasons and FashionMingle.net now offers free daily trend reports and photos for bloggers and unique content packages for online magazines. FashionMingle.net also produces behind-the-scenes videos documenting the experience for designers and clients such as Fly Productions. They will be working with Launch NYC and Elements Showcase this season.
Read along as we sit down with Melissa.
Q: What inspired you to come up with the concept of FashionMingle.net? A: I have a background in web development and marketing and have worked as a freelancer since 2002. So when I was approached to build a website that would promote Austin, TX fashion events back in 2009, I immediately was intrigued and ideas for creating something nation-wide began circulating in my mind.
Q: what makes it different from other networking based social networks out there?
A: There is no website that organizes a fashion community from the ground up. Small fashion businesses need to know who their local resources are and they need to be able to promote their business locally and reach out to other fashion communities as they grow. FashionMingle.net creates a network for fashion entrepreneurs to collaborate and promote their services.
Q: What issues are you solving by creating FashionMingle.net?
A: We provide a private social network where members can share advice and expertise, a local fashion directory where they can list their business, events, promotions, and job openings, and a PR platform that allows members to send news and promotions through our weekly newsletter and blog just like a press release service. We also cover New York Fashion Week and give members legal access to our professional photography to use in their social media, website, and blogs.
Q: How did your background in technology help with forming and running your business?
A: Because I have a background in technology and design, my team and I keep up on all the latest trends in social media, internet marketing, and web design. I want FashionMingle.net to be the resource for fashion entrepreneurs who need to learn how to promote their business using all the latest tools – and provide the technology to reach a wider audience they cannot reach themselves.
Q: When did you decide you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
A: This will date me, but my first entrepreneurial experience was creating fuzzy dice for the guys at my high school to hang from their car rearview windows. I sold them for $5 each. Even today I think that was a good return on investment. I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart and have had several small businesses, but not until the last ten years or so has it even possible to launch your own business on the scale that we are envisioning for FashionMingle.net.
Q: What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?
A: With the right vision and drive to succeed, anyone can be an entrepreneur now. Technology has democratized the fashion industry, no longer is success exclusive to those who have a lot of financial resources.
Q: What was your first business venture and how was it as an experience, overall?
A: My very first professional business venture was opening a political-themed gift shop called Politically Correct after working for the Clinton campaign for President in 1992. I lived in the liberal bastion of Austin, TX and it was a lot of fun, but I hooked my wagon to the wrong company, and the building owners did not come through with the marketing they promised and it had a very short life. It was an excellent learning experience and I learned you can never rely on anyone else’s promises and you must always have a marketing budget.
Q: How and where do people hear about FashionMingle.net?
A: We use a lot of techniques to promote FashionMingle.net, from good SEO on our articles, sending out several press releases each month over PRWeb and a very active social media campaign, we expand our reach every day. Our website is www.fashionmingle.net and you can find all our social media accounts on the website.
Q: Where do you see FashionMingle.net in the next 5 years?
A: We are launching our fashion directory this month for the United States but have plans to expand internationally. We also have a app in the works that will allow users to find local boutiques so that they can shop local right from their phone. We are committed to using technology to promote local fashion communities. Where technology will be in 5 years is anybody’s guess, but I’m guessing we’ll be in the middle of whatever that is.
Q: What 3 pieces of advice can you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
A: One, own your business. Keep partnerships free of any legal entanglements so that you can walk away when something isn’t working for you or your vision takes you in a different direction. Two, walk through the door. If someone gives you an opportunity, take it. Don’t ever say I can’t do something. If you can’t do it by yourself, find someone who can do it with you. Three, embrace fear. Whenever you feel afraid, run toward your fear. Make it happen and the next time you won’t be so afraid.
FashionMingle.net enjoys sharing stories via their Fashion Entrepreneur Series where they interview people who have created successful fashion businesses and get their insight into areas such as trade shows, marketing and PR, fashion show production and more. The interviews are available on the website and also on their YouTube channel. They will also be launching a podcast series soon. FashionMingle.net is committed to helping small fashion businesses reach their goals through creative, affordable solutions. Make sure to check in with FashionMingle.net as they have live coverage of NYFW!