Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition - Recap

"Hello, Sharks. I'm Carmen, and I'm here seeking $200,000 for a 10% equity stake in my company called. . .uh, my company that does. . .um, My company?"

I practice my Shark Tank pitch every time I watch the show. I know which Shark I like best (Mr. Wonderful), how I would negotiate the deal (ask for 10% knowing I'd be OK giving up 20% or 30% if I could get 2 Sharks to help), and even a general idea of what I would wear (something eye-catching but not over-the-top.) What I don't know is what product or company I would pitch. I haven't found that "million dollar idea" yet. I did dream up a Sleep-On-Demand company, but that has too many logistical problems to get off the ground. So for now, I'm content watching other entrepreneurs try to make their dreams come true with the help of savvy investors.

I got the opportunity to watch talented apparel and accessories brands pitch their ideas up close at the Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition at Majorette. It was so exciting! While some pitches were stronger than others (it's probably nowhere near as easy as it is on my couch), each designer presented beautiful work. Five St. Louis-based fashion industry entrepreneurs competed: Theresa Wangia of Beltshazzar Jewels, Crystal Frazier of Qristyl Frazier DesignsClaire Flowers, Ralph Cordova of Rafael Adón, and Christina Fogerty of Fauxgerty

Vegan leather company Fauxgerty took home the top prize of $10,000. One of my personal faves, Crystal Frazier, came in second and earned a still-amazing $5,000 for her "plus-sexy" clothing business. Before attending the event, I voted for Beltshazzar Jewels as my People's Choice winner. Claire Flowers ended up winning $2500 to expand her comfortable-yet-stylish footwear brand. In a happy twist, the other designers got $2,000 for their brands.

Photos by Alan Wang for ALIVE

I had a blast at the event, especially because I got to hang out with some of my favorite industry ladies.
Oh, Julia Ann; Marketer Marisa, me, That Darn Rachel
Me & the lovely June from geminijunemoon 


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