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July 12, 2011 / racheltobias

ProFounder Fashion & Handicraft Swap+Meet Recap!

This month, ProFounder hosted our original Swap+Meet event, this time for Fashion & Handicraft Entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles area. We host these events on a regular basis to provide an live (and fun!) example of how entrepreneurs can leverage their community to help grow their business. To learn how you can bring this event to your own community, please email rachel@profounder.com and we will send you a Swap+Meet Guidelines and Planning Packet.

We are still beaming with joy and pride at the fantastic group of entrepreneurs and community members who came out to support each other and local entrepreneurship! We partnered with Atwater Crossing, who was able to provide a gorgeous outdoor space for the event! (Click here to learn more about Atwater Crossing and the different work space and event venue opportunities they offer!)

We were fortunate enough to hear presentations from industry experts like our co-founder Dana Mauriello, who talked about community-based crowdfunding and how to grow your business with the help of your community! We also heard from Jan McCarthy of Ladies Who Launch, who provided some valuable insight around marketing your business effectively through storytelling!

We then invited 6 entrepreneurs to give a short business pitch on their business. We heard from Lucy at fair ivy (surprise package subscriptions!), Jessica at Disregard{en} (repurposed furniture to benefit the homeless), Kristeen at rhope (stylish bags made by women’s coops in India), Angela at Umma Baby (baby dresses made from saris), Colleen at Urban Crochet (crocheted hats & scraves), and Haily at Voz (artisanal clothing products from global designers).

These entrepreneurs shared the story of their business and their vision for its future, and additionally made 4 asks to the audience. These asks ranged from introductions to local bloggers or journalists to help finding a mentor to graphic design or web design support. A few needed help growing their community, and requested likes on Facebook and reviews on Yelp. Others were in need of boutiques and retailers to stock their products. The critical part of these asks were the fact that they made everyone feel as though they had something to contribute.

Everyone in the audience was given a packet which contained information on each entrepreneur and their 4 Asks. This was helpful for the audience to follow along with the presentation and take notes on how they could support each entrepreneur.

After the presentations, everyone was able to pledge support to the individual asks they were capable and willing to support. We found that there was a tremendous overlap in the resources individuals had and the resources they were looking for, which resulted in a wonderful spirit of generosity and collaboration!

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