Fashionpreneurs: Chicago Entrepreneur Turns Dress Obsession Into Stylish Startup

Learn how Jenna Zielbauer launched her fashion startup and why she believes entrepreneurs shouldn't skip writing a business plan.

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Best Success Story:

The launch party for Cotton Candy Couture, held at Candyality (a boutique candy store located in Chicago, IL), was a huge success and we received great media coverage.

It generated enough press —  in industry outlets such as Refinery29, Racked, Biz Bash, and CS Modern Luxury — for us to include in our press kit, which are now in the hands of boutique owners across the country. As a result of our launch event, the line caught the eye of Chicago’s fashion community.

Someone approached me at a recent event, after hearing that I designed the dress I was wearing, and said”I knew you were a designer!” That was a great feeling.

Biggest Startup Challenge:

Getting boutique owners to write orders for a new line in its first season has been challenging. Many shops prefer to work with established lines before committing to large orders. But, I’m prepared to grow the brand through boutique distribution by highlighting my strength — my personality. It comes through in my designs and demonstrates that I am here to stay.

#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs:

Do not skip writing a business plan, and stick to your guns when it comes to your budget. Costs can add up quickly, and if you are not prepared, you will end up cutting corners.

Connect with Jenna on Twitter and Facebook.

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Photo Credit: Cotton Candy Couture; Pictured: Jenna Zielbauer

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