Fashion Business Hopefuls Apply for Silver Jacket Entrepreneur Program!

Fashion Business Hopefuls Apply for Silver Jacket Entrepreneur Program!

San Antonio’s first business education specifically created for fashion community went live this past weekend and already, many hopefuls have filled out their applications in the hopes of changing their fashion careers for the better!

The Texas Fashion Industry Initiative 501C3 is the state’s first and official non-profit dedicated to the positive growth of the Texas fashion industry. Launched in January of 2019, this non-profit’s new Annual Calendar of Advocacy, now begins with the Silver Jacket Entrepreneur Program. As part of an its annual cycle, the Silver Jacket Entrepreneur Program seeks to give the Texas fashion community a stronger chance at successful business and hopes to help small fashion businesses feel valued and supported.

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After years of working directly with the local fashion community, two things were discovered, repeatedly:
1. Many new fashion entrepreneurs feel that they are “on their own” and without adequate support.
2. There is a serious lack of business education.
The Texas Fashion Industry Initiative has partnered with some incredible organizations, mentors and professionals and are looking to change those two things with the Silver Jacket Entrepreneur Program.

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The Program has been specifically designed to remove the obstacles communicated by community, that hinder their success. The 12-week program will accept newly graduated fashion students, brand new fashion start ups or current struggling entrepreneurs in order to help build their business foundation basics and then shepherd them into an accelerator business program later this year. Silver Jackets receive opportunity to be taught and mentored by successful business professionals and will have a constant community of like minded colleagues so that they don’t feel alone during the daunting stages of business growth.

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With independence being a desired key takeaway, the Silver Jacket Entrepreneur Program is designed for the realistic, entry level scenario of a single person needing to wear the many hats it takes to get started on their entrepreneur journey. In March, fashion artists, students and entrepreneurs will gain knowledge in skills and basics that will speed up their daily operations, even if they are completely alone.

Key program skill takeaways will include:

  • Brand Building: Start off right with brand basics and a clear vision for your company long term.
  • Creating a (real) Business Plan
  • Setting a Strong Legal Foundation: Silver Jackets gain access to legal insight, contracts, sales strategies, build a strong business structure and a legitimate legal entity.
  • Basics in Accounting: Crash course in QuickBooks, gain accounting knowledge, build a customer profile and more.
  • Basics in Graphic Design: Silver Jackets will learn Photoshop basics so they never have to wait on favors again.
  • A Website: Not only will Silver Jackets build a website, they will learn how to maintain it themselves, decreasing their need to reach out to expensive web developers significantly.
  • Basics in Marketing: Gain mentorship in marketing basics, build stronger social media, online strategies and more.
  • Basics in Public Relations: Learn how to write a press release, how to communicate to media correctly, receive your professional headshots, affective business bio mentorship and more.

Continued program support and events of advocacy will include:

  • Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Support: As a new TFII Member, the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative and the Silver Jacket Program will support the Silver Jackets’ business ribbon cutting ceremony. 
  • Business Launch Celebration: Silver Jackets will be a featured business at the Ones-To-Watch Event, hosted by the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative and Maestro Entrepreneur Center.
  • Break-Out-Moment: Silver Jackets will have their Break-Out-Business Moment at San Antonio’s official fashion week, TEXAS FASHION WEEK™ in October.
  • The Ultimate Celebration:  Upon meeting program criteria, students of the program will upgrade their denim jackets and be awarded their Silver Jackets on stage at the San Antonio Fashion Awards™.

Everyone is encouraged to contact the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative with questions and inquiries.

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In addition to knowledge, the sessions will be taught by successful business professionals, giving Silver Jackets a brand new network of colleagues who have lived the entrepreneur journey and know first hand what it takes to succeed. Upon completion of the Launch curriculum, Silver Jackets will then be featured at the official Ones-To-Watch Graduate Event hosted by TFII and Maestro Entrepreneur Center (TFII’s partner in fashion entrepreneur advocacy.)

Continuing with year-round support, The Texas Fashion Industry Initiative will aid in the ribbon cutting ceremony for all businesses launched through this program and have their Break-Out-Business Moment at TEXAS FASHION WEEK™ in October with opportunity to be scouted and discovered. As a finale, Silver Jackets who meet the criteria, will upgrade their entry level denim jackets and be awarded their Silver Jackets on stage at the San Antonio Fashion Awards deeming these entrepreneurs the Ones-To-Watch fashion businesses of the year.

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According to the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), approximately 40-50% of start-ups in the U.S. fail in their first five years of operation. 87% of all businesses that graduate from accelerators are still in business after 5 years and so, in conjunction with launch sessions, Silver Jackets will have continued opportunity to attend yet another 12-week program with Silver Jacket partner, Maestro Entrepreneur Center.

During the daunting growth stages of their company, Silver Jackets will have access to their new found launch knowledge, a new network of colleagues, access to professionals and through the Accelerator Program, even more advanced sessions, resources, mentors and advocates. These sessions will begin in August, months after the initial Launch Program, giving the students time to collect sales data, experience and personal questions to bring to the sessions.

Burgundy Woods – President of the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative & Julissa Carielo – President of Maestro Entrepreneur Center

In attempt to be as hands on with Silver Jackets as possible, the program will not be accepting more than 20 students. The Silver Jacket Entrepreneur Program is $599 with payment options available. More details on costs, what students will need and applications are now live at the website at TexasFashionIndustry.Org/Curriculum (non-refundable $50 application fee applies). Deadline to apply is February 27th with accepted student contacts starting in February. Once 20 Silver Jackets are accepted, applications will no longer be reviewed, so it is highly encouraged to apply early. Space is extremely limited.

Burgundy Woods
[email protected]

Burgundy Woods has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music/Music Industries from the University of the Incarnate Word and a Design & Trend Forecasting degree from The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. She began her career in Hollywood, California, where she worked for major record labels such as Virgin Records, Interscope Records, EMI Music and Capitol Records. Later after attaining her fashion degree, she was discovered by MySpace, Inc. and was immediately hired to be their Fashion Curator starring and producing her show THE B-SPOT Fashion & Trends on their Fashion & Shopping channel. During this time, online media was in its infancy. She and her colleagues pioneered and molded the online fashion media industry resulting in over 10 years of experience in fashion news and 20 years of experience in fashion video content. Many of the stylized ideas and tools that were launched through these platforms are still used to this day as industry standards for online fashion media. Later, with her extensive experience in developing online fashion media, she continued the show independently and has successfully rebranded THE B-SPOT into Style Lush TV online fashion network. Now, with over nine professional years in online fashion media and trend forecasting, she continues to pioneer, maneuver and develop her industry. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Style Lush TV. She is also the President of the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative. The state's official non-profit for the positive growth of the Texas fashion industry.