Launch Your Collection: Featured Brand

Launch Your Collection is a one-stop shop apparel launch company for emerging fashion brands.

Tell us about your background.

I am the founder of Launch Your Collection, the author of the book, Becoming a Fashion Designer (Wiley), which published worldwide in English in 2013, published in Mandarin in May 2015, and will publish in Arabic in 2018, and a New York fashion industry veteran, having worked for Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and J. Mendel.

Launch Your Collection

What kind of response have you had to your new site?

We have received a solid, steady stream of traffic to our website, which we believe comes from the wide array of products and services that we offer, our fun and engaging social media posts, and our compelling website design. I designed the website myself, and as the founder of Launch Your Collection, I wanted to ensure that it offered an inviting brand experience, where creative entrepreneurs could come to get educated on both the creative and business aspects of fashion, learn what we do and get launched – all at the same time, while being inspired along the way. We have become famous for our inspirational library, with new categories being added monthly!


What sets you apart from other consultants or agencies that offer assistance to emerging designers?

I have yet to come across another launch company that provides the breadth and depth of packages, products and services that we offer emerging fashion brands. No matter what stage an emerging fashion designer is in the process, we are here to become their trusted launch partner. Our services range from custom logo and website design and social media channel creation, to product development, from the initial concept stage, to sample and bulk development, including sketching, fabric/trim sourcing and tech pack development. Our clients will even get to participate in remote fit sessions with their very own fit models! We create lookbooks, linesheets, media kits, customized buyer order forms, provide our clients with valuable tools, such as our Fashion Branding Guide and our Fashion Attorney Guide, teach them how to write a business plan, how to cost their line, and how to conduct press outreach with a special insider tool called Get Media Happy from Launch Grow Joy. From there, we help promote, market and sell their line. We take pride in tailoring our services to each of our client’s unique needs, so an emerging fashion brand receives only as much or as little guidance as they need to get launched.

Launch Your Collection

Tell us about your new website,

Launch Your Collection is a one-stop apparel launch company for emerging fashion brands. Whether a creative entrepreneur has a fashion design degree or no fashion background whatsoever, we creatively guide them step-by-step through the launch process, with one simple goal in mind: To turn their fashion vision into a commercially viable apparel collection.

Launch Your Collection

Tell us why designers would benefit from your services?

No matter what stage an aspiring fashion designer is in the process, Launch Your Collection can help them get launch ready. We offer all the necessary products and services needed to create an apparel collection from the initial concept stage. I have also put together a fantastic team of people who are superstars in their respective areas of expertise. Along with myself, we have a technical designer, a director of sales and marketing and a brand stylist – who all work collaboratively to give our clients the very best expertise for their apparel launch. The process of launching a fashion brand is a very complex one, with so many different moving parts. We pool all of our years of experience together to help our clients save valuable time and avoid costly setbacks.

Launch Your Collection

What’s next?

We are in the process of launching our LYC Fashion Series, which will be comprised of webinars and online educational courses. We think this is going to be an exciting addition to our portfolio of products and services that we currently offer, and add a valuable component for our clientele base.

For help in any stage of your collection, visit Launch Your Collection here.

Follow Launch Your Collection on social media.


Urban Outfitters Purchases Pizzeria Vetri

Urban Outfitters is Mixing Business with Pleasure, Literally

You’re casually walking through the mall: coffee concoction of choice in one hand, iPhone in the other checking your likes on the gram. When it dawns on you that the starbucks is all you’ve had all day and you’re practically starving. Well crap. Urban Outfitters is having a sale on the maroon turtleneck you’ve been eyeing to show grandma up in at Christmas, and you don’t want to miss snatching that baby up. You decide your thighs will thank you later and skip the meal for now. 

Now at a vigorous stride to the store, you’re greeted by a worker at the front, ”Hi, how are you doing today? Our turtlenecks on the back wall to the left are all 30% off and you can grab a slice of pizza to the right of the dressing rooms.”

That’s right- Pizza. Becoming the new owner of a pizzeria chain- Pizzeria Vetri, Urban Outfitters not only offers cute clothes, but a cheesy slice of heaven for your shopping pleasure.

Now before asking yourself, “What the eff Urban Outfitters?” Know that there’s a little method to their Apparel-Italian-Combo madness. Quick business lesson: What does every fashion company focus on to set their brand apart from the rest? The 5P’s. Product, property, people, product presentation, and promotional activities (and apparently pizza). I think it’s pretty safe to say you won’t find another fashion company who offers customers the chance to grab a slice and get some fashion advice all in one place. While the company may be mixing business with pleasure, in this case it’s a cheesy victory for its customers. Is this bold business move pure crazy or pure genius? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

the boutique: Featured Brand

Meegan Hofmeister: Co-owner of the “the boutique” in NewBo

Tell us the story behind opening “the boutique”

M: I originally wrote the business plan for “the boutique” years ago, as I was finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. It was a final project that turned out to be really fun, as it allowed me to dream big and learn a lot about something that interested me. As I graduated from college, that business plan was tossed into a desk drawer to be forgotten about and I proceeded to attempt to find a career that I fell in love with. While struggling to find that career, Sarah and I sat down over brunch one Sunday and started daydreaming about what we would do if we weren’t doing what we were currently doing, and “the boutique” was brought up. Sarah and I had both been working retail for years; I was in management and sales for both big box chains and small retail businesses, while Sarah had been heading up marketing, advertising, and event planning for a local retailer. Between the two of us, we had gained a lot of experience and felt like “the boutique” was a dream that, with a little push and encouragement from a close mentor, we could successfully bring to life.

the boutique

How did you get started in the fashion field?  

M: I grew up playing dress-up in my grandmother’s closet with her vintage dresses; shopping trips with Mom were always something I looked forward to; and as I grew up, any girl’s trips always centered around Michigan Avenue… so I think I’ve always had a passion for fashion and an addiction to retail!

the boutique

What are your favorite fall/winter 15/16′ trends?  

M: Again, I have a serious crush on leather this year! Leather pants, leather skirts, leather jackets… anything leather! Another fall trend that has me excited is the flare… high-waisted, flare leg denim paired with blouses or chunky knit sweaters is a really hot trend. And I’m enjoying the colors we’re seeing this year: navy, marsala, caramels… it’s a softer color palette in contrast to the stark black/white/grey collections we’ve seen the last few years, and I think it’s a nice change that is flattering on everyone.

the boutique

How would you convince someone to break out of his or her shell and dress more fashionable?  

M: Style is a way to express yourself without having to speak… it should be a true reflection of your inner muse! Take chances and wear what makes you feel like the best version of yourself!

the boutique

What are your three favorite pieces your carry? 

M: The Fall season’s deliveries are always my favorite… deeper darker colors, more textures, and great pieces for layering. Currently I am obsessing over anything leather! Three of my “must-haves” from the floor right now are: Bailey44’s Raoul’s Skirt in Merlot, which is a vegan leather midi-length pencil skirt, Citizens of Humanity Fleetwood Flare jeans, and Equipment’s Signature Silk blouse in leopard print. I always love a blouse, and leopard is a neutral!

the boutique

What is the best part of your job?  

I automatically want to say the New York City buying trips! I mean, it’s walk-in closet after walk-in closet of the hottest designers in the industry, in one of the most amazing cities on the planet… so for someone who loves fashion, it’s like a fantasy come to life! However, I also really love the relationships I build with our customers. I enjoy getting to know people on a personal level and getting to hear their stories, while making them feel great about themselves by dressing them in a look they never would have believed they could pull off. Helping women create a personal style and seeing a boost in their self-confidence when they love how they look is why I do what I do.

the boutique

What and who influences you when buying for “the boutique”?  

M: That’s an ever-evolving answer! On our first buying trip we hadn’t opened yet, so we had no idea who our customer was and what styles she would gravitate towards… so we bought everything that WE liked!  It worked out fairly well, thankfully, but our buying process has continued to develop as we’ve built relationships with our customers.  Our primary goal is to elevate the sense of style seen here in the Corridor, and more specifically Cedar Rapids, so we play it safe with some selections and stick with classic pieces made with great materials, and in other selections we like to push the boundaries a little.

the boutique

What is next for “the boutique”?

M: We’re always dreaming about the future! However we’re still young… November will mark 2 years since opening. For now we’re focused on providing Cedar Rapids women with a local boutique where they can experience a little retail therapy and a little personal attention, while introducing them to designers and styles that they’d find when shopping in the city. We meet new people every day that are visiting “the boutique” for the first time, so we know we still have an impression to make!

To see the latest arrivals check out their website and blog and be sure to visit the store!

How to become a Victoria’s Secret Angel

Before we tell you the secrets on becoming an Angel, we would like to take a moment to introduce the newest member of our team. Bailey. She will help us fill a major void and provide Ansel and Opie with awesome copy for our editorials and a weekly column on Wednesdays. Bailey grew up in the quaint town of Eldridge, Iowa with a large family. A huge chunk of her heart is reserved by the elderly-most likely from working at a nursing home throughout high school. Fashion was always something she wanted to make a career out of, but never imagined it happening until her arrival at Iowa State. Like everyone else, it was a dream to temporarily leave the nest and study abroad- hint hint London College of Fashion. Her favorite quote is by Christian D. Larson reading, “Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you greater than any obstacle.”

We are ecstatic to have her join the team and please enjoy her first article. Welcome Bailey!

Victoria’s Most Exclusive Secret: How to Become A Victoria’s Secret Angel

Photo Courtesy of PJBayfield,

It’s that time of year again- the angels’ time to spread their wings and slay that lingerie. Indulged in their late night chocolate cravings via the couch, women across the country will tune in as these ladies strut their sexy stuff. As the highly anticipated cast of angels is released every year, have you ever wondered: how to become a Victoria’s Secret Angel? (Confidence, power, a killer bod, and a little edge never hurt anyone), but what exactly does it take? Step one: know the requirements. Accept the fact that if you are under 5’8”, you either need to consult an expert surgeon or shoot for a different dream. Step two: build a selection of photos of yourself. If a credible modeling agency is going to take you on, odds are they will want to know what you look like (duh)! Step three: put yourself out there- yes Google can sometimes be your friend. If you want to be noticed as a serious contender and well-known model, take the initiative to register yourself on some modeling websites. Step four: killer bod. Enough said.

Don’t wait until the night before auditions to host your own Krispy Kreme intervention. Step five: research when auditions are. Previously, auditions have been held in Chicago, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles. Plan ahead of time to arrange when you want to audition and how you will get yourself there. Step six: learn from others. Surprise! The internet can be somewhat helpful. Watch some YouTube videos of others who have auditioned and listen to advice they have. Step seven: work it girl! Show some personality and give it all you’ve got! Click here to watch interviews from this year’s ten fresh faces of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.