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TIA blog series: After initial success, Vern Clothing looks for additional capital

By Viktor Mak '15 on October 4, 2013

Vern Clothing is a socially conscious clothing brand that works directly with Guatemalan artisans to sell high quality handmade products in the United States. Vern Clothing works exclusively with weaving cooperatives, pays the weavers a fair wage, and donates ten percent of gross profits back to a non-profit in Guatemala that does community capacity building in economically struggling villages.

Vern Clothing
Matthew Kordonowy, a junior at Washington and Lee University, and I launched Vern Clothing after I spent two summers in Guatemala volunteering with a weaving cooperative and learning Spanish. After my first summer, I realized that these artisans with whom I was working were extremely skilled but their products were not reaching the US markets. I founded Vern Clothing in order to design products that would connect the fashion conscious U.S consumer with Guatemalan artisans.

The Thought Into Action Institute has been crucial to my success. Participating in TIA the year before launching Vern Clothing changed how I viewed the world. Without TIA, I would have never seen the opportunity or known how to seize it. TIA also taught me the importance of mentors. Since starting Vern, I’ve been in close contact with a number of TIA mentors like Jane Porter, who has helped with weaving and the technical aspect of the production. I have also been in touch with Wills Hapworth, Bob Chamberlain, and Kristine Michelsen-Correa for advice on Vern Clothing.

Thanks to all the mentorship from TIA and tons of hard work, Vern has had a lot of initial success. We’ve had over three thousand unique visitors to the site, an exciting number of sales, and we have four boutiques carrying our items with the Colgate University Bookstore soon becoming the fifth. We have received an encouraging amount of positive feedback and used the revenue that this success has generated to improve our products. Our designs are tested and popular. Our vision for Vern is to expand our retail and wholesale business.

We need your help now to start production of our newest items. We’ve launched a crowdsourcing campaign on Indiegogo to help pay for the initial deposit. Please check it out and like us on Facebook to keep updated on our progress.

Thank you for your interest in Vern Clothing!

Vern Clothing 2

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