I first heard about ShopRagHouse a few months ago from a friend. Brimming with excitement, she told me about a new fashion collective started by two former Corporate Lawyers, Bridgette Hylton and Joanna Florez. As a fellow fashion enthusiast, I could not wait to check out the website for myself. I was impressed with the sheer genius behind the concept. I also beamed with pride when I read that the founders were two Caribbean women. Thus, it is my absolute pleasure to introduce ShopRagHouse and its founders Bridgette Hylton and Joanna Flores.
Tell us about your company ShopRagHouse?
ShopRagHouse.com crowd-funds and produces limited edition garments designed and chosen by our members in “Project Runway” style competitions hosted on our site. We are the kickstarter for fashion. We want to make fashion design and fashion in general more fun and interactive for fashion enthusiasts everywhere!
How does it work?
It’s pretty simple:
1. Users submit design ideas
2. Our members vote on them on our site and social media accounts.
3. We make winning designs into samples
4. Members pledge to buy the samples that they like best.
5. When a sample receives enough pledges to buy it, we make it and ship it
6. Designers receive a cut of the profits
What inspired you to create ShopRagHouse?
The inspiration for ShopRagHouse was two-fold. Firstly as women working in corporate law, we knew first hand that fashion wasn’t always responsive to our needs. In particular, we noticed that women’s suits rarely if ever had functional pockets – which is a huge pain obviously. We thought, why can’t people, and women in particular, have more say in the clothes that they wear? Secondly, flash-forward a few years and I wanted to launch my own fashion company – I had no formal design experience and breaking into the industry proved difficult. I called Joana frequently to talk about the challenges I was facing and she had a stroke of genius – she said, why shouldn’t it be easier for emerging designers to get their work in front of the people who matter most – prospective buyers? It was the marriage of those two trains of thought that gave birth to the ShopRagHouse concept. We’ve always been very passionate about fashion. We always say, we’d love to find the next Marc Jacobs, but more importantly we want to have fun with fashion, because for us, that’s what fashion is all about.
Joanna Flores of ShopRagHouse
How can readers submit their designs? Are there any requirements they need to meet?
Readers can submit design ideas right on our site, www.shopraghouse.com. We’d love to have more submissions. We genuinely believe that anyone can be a fashion designer – even two former lawyers with a penchant for bold prints and high fashion at cutthroat prices and no past design experience whatsoever. We are constantly trying to make that process easier for non-designers like ourselves. We have a template that they can download and sketch their design on to either by hand or on their computer. They can also submit an entirely original sketch. We are working every day to streamline the design process to make it easier for people like Joana and I who have no formal design experience to get their ideas in front of prospective buyers and fashion enthusiasts everywhere.
Can we purchase pieces on your website?
Right now we are still working on developing the first few dresses that have won competitions that we’ve hosted. We’re hoping to have the first three dresses available for sale really soon on the site and through our upcoming kickstarter! Readers should stay tuned on twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest, and other social media for the official launch of our first collection.
What’s your vision for ShopRagHouse?
We really believe the sky is the limit. Right now we are focused on women’s dresses, but we already have plans to expand into swimwear, menswear and accessories.
We always joke that if people want us to make host a ShopRagHouse sandwich competition, we’d be happy to do that (as long as we could be really well dressed while doing so!).
How can readers stay involved with and support ShopRagHouse?
We’d love to have your readers join our site, and stay in touch on social media. We’d love to have readers submit their designs, vote in competitions, and help spread the word about our business.
We’re still pretty new and we are always looking for feedback! Readers should feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org any time!
Bridgette Hylton talks about ShopRagHouse