Posts Tagged :

Fashion Branding

540 300 Jesse Dombrowiak

Crowdfunding: One Way to Finance Your New Clothing Line

Among the many doctor and actor aspirations, lays an ambition many are not equipped to start: creating their own business. As many startups disappoint before they’re fully able to thrive, a middle ground of uncertainty is present: how does a novice idea meet the demands of initial costs, provide a product worthy of consumer demands yet provide an opportunity to gain loyal customers willing to purchase at my inauguration? Enter Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform that provides potential entrepreneurs with the opportunity to turn their dreams into reality.

There are many variables contributing to the success or deemed failure of companies; some externally or internally known while others are not. Whether or not the variables identified to the failure are presented, it’s best to reflect upon the factors contributing to success. I had the pleasure to speak with two very successful brands– one that has had recent achievement and the other still in the process of a crowdfunding triumph. Whether you’re planning the next great funded project or simply looking for inspiration from relatable businessmen, Ryan Beltran from Original Grain and Jake Joseph from Jake Joseph Underwear are idyllic.

Before investing in inventory and product development to begin any business venture, research and adequate testing are needed to determine if your product is in demand. With that said, Ryan Beltran believes “Crowdfunding is a great avenue for testing products and gauging potential demand” as it develops a platform for advancing decisions to determine to continue or not. It’s also a great platform due to the audience – “an overflow of people who appreciate creativity and I wanted to reach and work with those people” reveals Jake Joseph.

As one of the most funded fashion projects to date, Original Grain fuses local wood inspiration from their Pacific Northwest hometown and modern eminence that results in a captivating timepiece. “Our primary goal when launching Original Grain (OG) was to develop a product unlike any other on the market. We wanted to create a watch that would ‘turn heads’, but was top notch in terms of its quality. That’s to be great at making our watches and provide a good experience for each and every customer we have.” With plans to solidify OG as household name and eventually expanding into a lifestyle brand, “the only way I can get there is  to focus on making a high quality product and continuously innovating our product offering.”

Original Grain

Jake Joseph elevates a traditional, hidden piece and “adds quality and workmanship to an often neglected garment”– underwear and proves that internal details and value of the first layer of adornment is equally vital. Insight to this piece was gained as this was in the process of development just as his project was launching. “We are constantly looking for ways to design products that are not just beautiful, but offer a solution too. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter are terrific platforms to introduce the The ZenSho Collective – the first underwear to never rise.” Ultimately, passion is vital Joseph believes, “be passionate about the product you want to introduce and illustrate that passion in your product and its benefits.” Genuinely understand your audience while developing an approach to providing them with a highly unique outcome, just as the exclusive underclothing of Jake Joseph has done.


Passion coupled with an essential connection with your audience and quality product, all combine to make both of these company’s successful crowdfunded projects. “Kickstarter is an amazing community of people that want to help companies get off the ground…you just gotta go and do the dang thing.” Provide an experience for the consumer by revealing your story; when done effectively, the generated buzz will appeal to the need of your consumer now while also illustrating ideas for the future. “People love helping others achieve their goals, especially when they’re genuine” concludes Beltran. Therefore, the highly advantageous and mutually beneficial Kickstarter are highly recommended for the inner entrepreneur in all.

Original Grain:

Jake Joseph:

By: Storm Tyler

***Update: Check out one of our brands NAMAKAN FUR: they just ran a successful crowdfunding campaign and we’re now in production – product to be completed January 2017

540 300 Jesse Dombrowiak

Join Us At The LA Business Journal Fashion Awards

Celebrate standout local fashion companies and make new connections at LABJ’s 2016 Fashion Awards.

Indie Source is excited to attend the second annual Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2016 Fashion Awards! This event recognizes outstanding companies and individuals driving growth in the local fashion industry and the LA business community. It will take place on Tuesday, December 6, location TBD.

friends-champagne-for-webWith 300-1,500 attendees, the program will include apparel, denim, activewear, couture, swimwear, accessories, retail, and e-commerce companies based in Southern California. It’s an excellent opportunity for designers and others in the fashion industry to grow their brands and make valuable new connections.

Apparel companies making a powerful impact in the LA fashion industry can be nominated for awards in several categories. Indie Source is aiming for nominations in the categories of Made In California, Professional Service Provider, and Supplier Of The Year. If you’d like to recognize Indie Source for the difference we make in the apparel industry and driving business in Southern California, you may nominate us here.

Come and celebrate LA Fashion with us!



655 396 Jesse Dombrowiak

Rags To Riches: Iconic American Designer Ralph Lauren

A “sense of dream” and vision of success propelled Ralph Lauren from humble beginnings in the Bronx to the very top of global fashion.

The name Ralph Lauren conjures images of classic American luxury. But the esteemed fashion entrepreneur came from humble beginnings. Lauren’s journey to success is marked by a powerful combination of hard work, vision, and passion.

Born in the Bronx in 1939, Lauren was raised in a working-class family, the son of Jewish immigrants from Belarus. He found escape in the fantasy world of movies; the Daily Mail quotes a 1993 televised interview with Lauren: “I was very influenced by movies, I was very influenced by a world that had a sense of dream.”

Motivated in the business of fashion early on, Lauren was known for selling ties to his classmates at Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy. He dropped out of college after two years and served in the U.S. Army from 1962-1964. Lauren then married Ricky Loew-Beer and moved to New York City to pursue his dream of success in the fashion business.

He worked briefly at Brooks Brothers, then became a salesman for tie manufacturer A. Rivetz & Co. Lauren. He proposed a design for a wide, European-style necktie, but the company didn’t think it would sell. So Lauren started his own business making ties out of fabric remnants and selling them to small shops. His independence and resourcefulness in moving forward with his tie design were key to his entrepreneurial success.

A 1,200-count order from Neiman Marcus marked Lauren’s first big break. His Polo label grew in success and eventually he secured a boutique at Bloomingdale’s flagship store on 59th St. in New York. Lauren opened the Polo boutique on Rodeo Drive in 1971. What would soon become the famous Polo logo short sleeve pique shirt was released in 1972, along with his first Ralph Lauren collection for women.

Today, the Ralph Lauren Corporation designs and markets apparel and accessories, home furnishings, and fragrances under brands such as Polo by Ralph Lauren, Chaps, RRL, Club Monaco, and RLX Ralph Lauren. According to Vault, the company operates over 460 retail stores worldwide and its collections are available at nearly 13,000 retail locations, with 2015 revenue at over $7.62 billion.

Still married to Ricky, and the father of three children, Ralph Lauren is one of the wealthiest men in American fashion. His net worth is $5.7 billion according to Forbes. He has a well-known collection of over 70 rare and vintage automobiles. Through the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation, Lauren contributes significantly to the fight against breast cancer by funding charitable initiatives around the world.

Lauren’s enchantment with the dream-world of movies and self-fueled pursuit of success has evolved into a multi-billion dollar empire and an iconic style forever linked to the name of a working class boy from the Bronx. Here at Indie Source, we are passionate about helping emerging designers, like Ralph Lauren once was, to pursue their dreams and achieve powerful success.

Jesse Dombrowiak

The Big Diff: Why Indie Source?

How long have you dreamed of, talked about, and researched starting your own fashion line ? Are you full of passion, design concepts, and business ideas but you just can’t find the next step to take or a path that leads you to success?

Indie Source was started for people like you offering a completely new business model; a personalized development, manufacturing, and marketing program that allows you to produce your fashion line, just the way you envision it, right here in Los Angeles.

We Saw What Was Missing

The fashion industry is extremely fragmented, with hundreds of people with very specialized skills working, but not necessarily together. Not as a unit.

We started Indie Source out of seeing a need in our community. Thousands of people wanted to start fashion brands – they could see others doing it and they were excited about what their lives could be if they reached that goal. But they didn’t know how to get there.

With backgrounds in production, we knew which people they needed to work and at what stage in order to make their fashion lines a reality. Our unique ability to meet the needs of today’s emerging fashion designers created a huge opportunity, and Indie Source was born.

This is not a class, webinar, or coaching service. Indie Source is not about downloading ebooks, watching videos, or getting advice. When you work with Indie Source, you get real life, hands on, step by step support at every stage: from product development, to manufacturing, to marketing your fashion collection.

Indie Source provides you with your own personal project manager, as well as the most skilled pattern makers, seamstresses, and fabric experts to ensure you realize your creative vision and get the best possible results. Indie Source is where your dreams leap out of your head, off the page, and transform into a fully produced and developed fashion line that is on the market.

What Indie Source offers is unique. This business model does not exist anywhere else in Los Angeles. We’re here to take you where you want to go.

Are you ready to turn your dreams into results? Contact us now.

This post is the first of a series, Indie Source Delivers, highlighting the groundbreaking services and resources we offer to new fashion designers.

Jesse Dombrowiak

Fashion Incubator & Production Dev. Hub Opens in DTLA

Apparel manufacturer and fashion consultancy Indie Source is teaming up with Manufacture New York to establish a new Made In USA product development & fashion incubator hub at Maker City LA @ The Reef in Downtown Los Angeles. The official opening is November 13th, 2015

This groundbreaking partnership between The Reef, Indie Source and Manufacture NY will establish vertically integrated support for LA fashion brands. Indie Source will provide businesses with streamlined product development including fabric sourcing, pattern making, cutting, sewing, and finishing, while Manufacture New York will provide a fashion + tech design incubator, complete with a shared designer studio, industrial equipment, mentorship, classes and events.

All brands will have access to state of the art photography studios, media lab, sales showroom & a world class event venue at The Reef.

A launch party for industry influencers, entrepreneurs, local designers and other creatives interested in touring the new facility will be held on Friday, November 13th from 6pm-9pm.

Jesse Dombrowiak

From Design To Production: Starting a Fashion Line

The public relations team at Indie Source asked me to explain in basic terms what Indie Source does. There is a good understanding in the world about what other industries do to make their finished product but, little understanding as to all of the work that goes into fashion from design to production.

Starting a fashion line begins with a vision to build a fashion house and brand which is much like building a house, your dream house. The difference between building a house and a fashion house is not much different but, the finished product and know how that are used to build the fashion house are longer term and require more information, education and team building than building a home. An architect alone cannot build a house. He can draw up the vision, lay out the plans but, then he needs a team to actually build the house.

A fashion designer is an architect and engineer of fabric, drawings and history. A fashion designer combines their knowledge of history with their inspiration for a collection designed on mood boards with fabric selections and then designs a full collection. The collection is made of croquis sketches which show the designs and illustrations that are loose interpretations of the design. From there, a designer will need to draw technical flats with specific measurements to create a pattern block and a pattern to go into production. Often, the process is lengthy and not all designers know what a tech pack is or why it is needed. It is also important to understand through the design process the production calendars and timelines so product is delivered on time and in season for buyers to buy at market and editors to publish before market for customers to buy. This is where Indie Source comes in.

As a full service development and production manufacturer, Indie Source provides all the details that designers need to see their designs and dreams come to life. Production is a complex process that like building a house, requires a good team of people. A designer (architect), construction manager (project manager) who manages budgets and timelines, building manager (textiles and fabric production) who sources materials and insures their delivery for construction, and of course, construction (pattern makers and graders, cutters and sewers). Indie Source is a designer’s dream team bringing designers drawings to life and allowing the designer to live the independent life they love. For more information on our services or a price quote on production and public relations please e-mail:

Get social with us and follow our social media.

Instagram: @indie_source

Twitter: @indie_source

Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is architecture,” and she was right. It is the architecture of building a long lasting vision from brand to consumer. With the production and public relations built with Indie Source one collection and each season at a time with high American made quality control standards, your designs and brand will be built on a strong foundation enabling it to last through time with the changes in fashion while creating a style and lasting vision of your own.

The production team looks forward to hearing from you and answering your questions to get your vision started from start to finish, season after season. We deliver independence to independents, one design into production at a time.

@oliviapalermo #fashion #style #blogger #designer

@oliviapalermo #fashion #style #blogger #designer

Jesse Dombrowiak

Raw Artists Showcasing in LA: i.CTZN

Hollywood’s Walk of Fame was definitely lined up with rising stars, as the spotlight was set on all the emerging artists at LA’s RAW Showcase held earlier this spring on Sunday April 13th at the stylishly plush nightclub, OHM. RAW Artists came out and walked the red carpet, displaying their one-of-a-kind pieces from—photography, artwork, costume and design, & we cannot & must not forget the fashion. Indie Source is all about the fashion, supporting designers with their vision as it comes to life on the runway for these aspiring independent designers. And, as supporters of i.ctzn and RAW Artists, Indie Source was there to take it all in to check out all the indie artists.

However, this past Hollywood showcasing was merely one of the several RAW Artist platforms that RAW hosts throughout the year in cities throughout the United States and internationally to provide these independently talented artists a venue to display and showcase their art. RAW Artists embraces all genres of artistic expression with the intention to promote these artists, and provide them avenues to network and build on their professional career as artists. RAW Artists events are truly a coming together of all kinds of creative talent housed under one roof for an evening of sheer artistry. You will definitely experience a unique mix of talent once you’ve attended a RAW Artist showcase.

The venues are fun, upbeat, and fiercely eclectic, lining up musical acts that can include a female punk band accompanied by electrifying sounds of guitars; to performance art utilizing visual imagery of laser lights; or a full-on theatrical stage performance of costume design and make-up gruesomely displayed on the stage, making attendees feel as if you were watching a scene straight out from a horror flick. Not to mention the presentation and displays of artwork presented with interwoven barbwire fences utilized as backdrops, creating that edgy underground feeling. And, for Indie RAW Artist, it’s all about creatively presenting their own individual message of expression of how they want to be heard and seen. Just as one of the exhibitors, Los Angeles-based jewelry designer, Toni Kohn, displayed her gorgeous pieces of accented gold cuff accessories to beautifully designed custom cocktail rings that any female owning her collection of jewelry would be the envy.

And, as i.CTZN strutted their latest Fall 2014 collection that displayed a sharp sophistication of their military-style statement pieces with an edgy contemporary interpretation of style, i.CTZN was honored as a RAW Artist for the evening and closed the fashion show. “It is great to be recognized as a RAW artist and to be [selected] to show our unique fashion line,” Gao and Krusemark shared. “We [received] wonderful feedback at the show and enjoyed the other artists…creativity….It was a great experience to [have the opportunity to] debut our FALL 2014 collection to the Hollywood area.”

 To become part of a RAW Artist event is an extremely unforgettable visually stimulating experience. “RAW’s mission is to provide up-and-coming artists of all creative realms with tools, resources, and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity, so that they might be seen, heard, and loved RAW educates connects and exposes emerging artists in over 60 artistic communities across the United States, Australia, Canada, and the U.K. through monthly showcase events. [RAW Artists] wants you to join them in celebrating the work of these artists.”

 To learn more about RAW Artists, log onto, and follow i.CTZN and check out their next fashion show and to view their latest collection, log onto

Raw Artist: i.CTZN

Jesse Dombrowiak

Onzie Yoga Apparel; Q&A w/ Founder Kimberly Swarth

More than two decades ago, Yoga became a lifestyle practice for Kimberly Swarth and with it, the driving force of her business. Swarth has another milestone coming for her next year; she is coming into motherhood. Now that the Onzie brand, pronounced OWN-zee, has been well loved within the culture of fitness and training, she takes most of her work / life balance along with her vision, in the most wonderful humor. “My brand will pierce the heavens” could easily be her mantra—and until today, her thriving L.A business has been her baby. Swarth shares her wit and wisdom with Indie Source in an exclusive interview.

Q: Are you just the woman behind the Onzie brand, or are you part of an out-front effort to manufacture a holistic line of active wear?

A: We have really created this business as a team here. In terms of creating the brand, I feel that the people who are here with us have created it—this brand is not even really me anymore. We have created a workplace culture, a powerful all female crew with an entity of its own.

Q: How did your team come into being?

A: Each person here came to us in a different way, there was not a usual hiring process, everyone is so unique and brings a piece to the puzzle—each one an individual in our community that has built us into the company we are today.

Q: Who is the woman behind the Onzie brand? How would you describe her? Who is she and how does your brand pay tribute to her?

A: On our Instagram there are hundreds of photographs of this woman—this woman that is dedicated to the practice, very dedicated to her workout and she is proud of her own health. The Onzie woman is all of these things; she is like a goddess. Our site shows her in so many forms, she is healthy and she is glowing in all of her beauty. With our product, we aspire to match that goddess concept—in both femininity and strength.


Q: Beauty in strength is also a hard-fought win. The Onzie woman has worked hard to evolve and to strengthen her form through meditation and stamina. In what ways has your business done the same?

A: In our organization, my mother, has been doing Bikram Yoga for now, 25-years. It all started with her. Bikram Yoga is done in a heated room of about 100 degrees. Back in the 90s, you worked out in a leotard. You sweat so much that you had to wear a one-piece garment and we started playing around with a mix of different colors for that initial piece—sort of like a onesie—a classic piece for practicing yoga was at the center of our design. We made a word play off of it and pronounced it OWN-zee, and all we were making was a leotard at the time—we liked how the word looked, and then it took off.


Q: So, you set out to put an end to the plain black yoga wear?

A: Yeah, I guess we did. Four-years ago people were not doing color like this. There were no prints for yoga. It was subdued an pastel, calming and quiet. The Kundalini woman was soft, draped in white fabric. She was not letting her higher-self shine through. Today there are many other expressions of exercise and we wanted our line to really let the practice match the experience and all of that color brings.




Q: So, is it safe to assume that you all practice yoga. How have you utilized the principles of yoga practice in your own business?

A: Yes. We do. My staff here, they are all dedicated to their own workouts. The health and wellbeing of our minds is something we practice in our business as well. Our roots are in Bikram Yoga and hot yoga. Dedication, endurance, and determination are huge in our business. At its core—what makes it work— we are sometimes too dedicated—but we have really worked as a team to achieve our goals together and stay strong. We have a Rock star authenticity, All of us here, we are all determined to get that high that comes with doing something really well, and that helps us all to be focused.


Q: How do you decide what to manufacture in your line? Who makes the decisions as to the growth and the look of your brand?

A: The Bikram Yogi was always a bit flashier, a bit more whimsy; we want that to be live in our brand. What’s the most important to us is that we are making a killer fabrication—the product is key—there are so many different products out there, we have stayed really true to our core— and for the price-point that is required for accessibility of our clothes. All of our decisions are made around that truth.


Q: You have celebrity interest in your designs—in the funky prints and ‘mod’ designs.  Even Lady Gaga wears Onzie. How did she find out about your clothing and come to take a selfie wearing one of your prints?

A: It is all, organic—it is through the yoga. She is actually an avid Bikram yogi and one of her teachers is connected to the brand and bought our stuff, and literally just rocked it in class. It was not just a PR thing. We don’t do anything like that. The clothing speaks for itself—it’s where a little bit of karma gets you, and a good product.


Q: Offer a bit of advice to aspiring designers here. What are the four things you can suggest to make a line a success?

A: I would say that they should have spirit; they need to know their customer well, and live the lifestyle to match their end user—and have some fun. It is also important to make your line accessible to people and an affordable part of their lives—make that a priority in your business and everything else around your commitment to your work will come natural.



At Onzie, our philosophy is “keep your practice challenging, and your wardrobe simple!”

Indie Source makes premium apparel for clothing brands, then ensures those products make a big impact in the market. Learn more about how they support fashion brands with garment development, apparel manufacturing,  fashion sales and marketing at  


150 150 Jesse Dombrowiak

How to get Media Attention for Your Brand

There are many aspects in creating and establishing a brand from conceptualizing an idea, to developing that idea, & formulating the buzz to get your merchandise into the hands of your consumers. As an up and coming designer of an emerging brand, it’s all about strategizing and comprising some sort of a marketing plan to acquire exposure from various media outlets. Of course, with the incentive to maximize and build that brand identity and recognition. The question is—How do brands obtain media attention to attain the exposure that they are looking for that lends itself to a successful first and lasting impression? Here are some helpful tips to capitalize on garnering the media’s attention and develop a relationship with them, so they view your brand as newsworthy to be written about.

Get Media Attention with Indie Source!

Evaluate the goals of your brand & determine your audience to establish brand identity

As a designer, you need to determine the publications that fits your niche market and demographic for your brand, so you could develop a voice to establish your brand’s identity. When finding a voice for your brand, it’s all about brand recognition and becoming aware of who your competitors are to find out what separates and makes you different from those brands. This is so important because to garner the attention of editors and reporters, you need to know how to pitch the story behind your brand to sell them on what makes your brand so unique and different. Once, you’ve found your voice, then you could create your own press release to paint that picture and depict to journalists the significance and savviness of your brand.


Establish and create your own press release and tell your brand’s story

A press release is a snapshot and synopsis that tells professionals in the media industry the journalistic W’s of your brand. It is the editorial formula that describes the who, what, when, why, and how of your brand with the intention to ignite media’s interest. So, they feel that writing about your brand will have value to their readers. The motivating factor is to discover the angles and hidden stories of your brand that will compel editors and writers to give your brand the press and publicity you seek. Therefore, it probably would be a wise investment to hire a professional writer, who can provide a well-written press release that conveys the underlying message of your brand. Also, trained writers possess the ability to read between the lines and can be more objective in deciphering what makes your brand stand out. This way they can write the prose of your press release, while simultaneously thinking on how to effectively pitch future editorial ideas regarding your brand to these same publications. Therefore, your press release will serve as an introduction and concise summary of your brand in order to plant the seed in the minds of these media insiders, so they are cognizant and aware of your brand with the goal of getting something published. However, make sure that your press release includes your contact information, so publishers, editors, and journalists can easily contact you for a press opportunity.


Research writers and editors of these publications and establish professional relationships with them

So, once you have fine tuned your press release and have emailed them to publications that you have determined will be a right fit for your brand, it’s a good idea to research some of the writers of that publication as well. The basis for this is because you want to find the right writer to approach when you do a pitch for an editorial story for your brand. Get to know their writing style and research some of their previous articles and become familiar on what appears to moves them, and what do they seem to like to write about. Find out what is their area of expertise. Do they strictly write about new trends in fashion for the different seasons? Do they take a more consumeristic approach and talk mostly about sales within retail and fashion. This way when you have decided on what angle of a story that you want to focus on pertaining to your brand, you will know what writer to approach. Also, it is very important that you just select one writer for each publication,and do not bombard several writers from that media source. You do not want to come off like you are spamming everyone. Because, writers and editors of the magazine come together during their meetings to discuss editorial ideas and topics for their upcoming issues, and you just do not want to be inconsiderate and waste a writer or publisher’s time, if all their writers are all pitching the same story idea for your brand. Especially,since journalists and media professionals are always on strict deadlines to get copy in,because they are in a competitive race to scoop the story and be the first media source to get the news out to the public and their consumers.


Attach your brand to a publicized event or charity fundraiser within your local community

Start with major events in your community that you’ve done the research that you know that a portion of your niche consumers may be attending some of these events, and find an avenue to get your brand involved. For instance, if your brand is targeting more of the younger urban slightly grunge vintage crowd—-find out if there are any music festivals or street fairs that are giving swag bags and see if you could put a promotional item in the bag that will get those niche consumers curious about your brand— enough to have them check out your website. You could also somehow become a major sponsor for the event by donating your time or an item of your collection, so your brand can be written about in the paper, or even make mention of your brand in any of their marketing and promotional pr materials that is publicizing the event. Here’s another idea—How about raising money for the fundraiser by auctioning a vintage denim studded jacket from your new line of eco–friendly fabrics to get people and media interested in writing about your brand. So get creative and storm up some innovative and unique ideas with your marketing team to get involved with these events as a means to attain brand awareness and get your brand noticed by the public, its consumers, and journalists, so you can claim your stake in the world of media and get your personal brand the attention it deserves!

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