(photo credit Inspire by Danielle, ) Pictured left to right: Marco Antonio Pena, Sam Gilworth, Hannah Schnabel, Chloe Morris This photo was taken just over two years ago, when Belle Ampleur was just a tiny little bud of an idea, germinated in the Apparel Design and Development program at Seattle Central College. This photo represents almost 3 years of labor, as our designer struggled to balance school, work, and health issues that threatened to strangle this idea before it could bloom. In the last two years since that photo, we have been developing roots, stretching and growing through much pruning, and tender loving care. This Thursday is our official Launch Party and we invite you to celebrate with us. We have so much to celebrate! Here are a few of the things we are celebrating:
1. Walking in our first show! Our first runway show was for Chance Fashion in Seattle, WA in September 2016, where we met so many new people! It was our first road test for our new designs. Pictured is the lovely Jenn Kennelly in the Grace Dress and the Patience Bolero.
2. Traveling to the DG Expo in San Francisco November 2016, our designer traveled to San Francisco to learn about being a better entrepreneur and business person. We met the fabulous Jane Hamill, and became a member of Fashion Business International. This weekend of workshops helped us clarify our vision for the future and gave us newly defined goals to work toward.
Pictured with our designer: Jane Hamill of Fashion Brain Academy
3. Inspiration trip to Mexico!
In February of 2017, our designer spent a few days on the Mexican coast absorbing the colors, culture, and vibe. This was influential in the development of some of our new styles, and Hannah cannot wait to return for a longer trip in the future.
4. Becoming an LLC and beginning the Trademark process for Belle Ampleur In March of 2017, Belle Ampleur became an official LLC! We are so excited! Soon we will also have the trademark for our name, and several design marks for our logo and designs. Legal protections for what makes us unique, FTW! We have been working with the fabulous Katharine of Kat Bond Law, who is also a designer, and knows just what fashion brands need! 5. Attending Camp Thundercraft
This past April, our designer went to Camp Thundercraft, hosted by Urban Craft Uprising. This was a three day get-a-way on beautiful Vashon Island at Camp Burton, designed to connect small business owners who make things for a living and give them practical tools to better run their business.
6. Being a Semi-Finalist for Project Runway, Season 16! Our designer was a semi-finalist for Season 16 of Project Runway. Though she wasn't chosen to be on the show, the audition process taught her that she is on the right path. We are behind her, 100%! Her video submission for Project Runway reached over 33K views on Facebook, and earned her an interview with Mimi Jung of King 5! Video filmed/edited by Ryan Spickard, with additional footage courtesy of Sarah MacAaron
7. Buying Trip to Los Angeles When our designer sneaked down to L.A. for her Project Runway audition, she went to fabric mecca: the Los Angeles Fashion District! She brought home 3 suitcases full of fabric for her pop up shop, happening this thursday!
8. Last, but not least: YOU! We are so lucky to have you, our dear followers! Did you know that you help our designer keep going when she feels like she is failing? She reads and responds to every single message on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and through Email. She listens to your concerns and takes them into consideration when she makes decisions. YOU drive Belle Ampleur through your engagement, your enthusiasm, your curiosity. You keep the lights on. You inspire us to keep going. You are the fertilizer for this little flower that is trying to bloom. We hope we get to meet at least some of you at our pop up shop this weekend, as we want to thank you in person for every kind word. Come by, have a glass of champagne, try something on, and let us hug you! RSVP on our Events Page and we will see you there!
Pictured: Polly Penny and Ryan Spickard
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