Kate Steadman is doing big things with her new fashionable and philanthropic clothing line, Frill. Steadman creates fashionable recruitment clothing for sororities and donates money to their philanthropy. She has worked with sororities at The University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, Georgia College and State University and has donated over $1,500 to philanthropies such as Make-A-Wish, Breast Cancer awareness and many more.
Name: Kate Steadman
Major: Advertising (Apparel Design & Merchandising minor)
Hometown: Cary, NC
Q: Where did you get the idea for Frill and when did it start?
A: A previous coworker, Sharon Bui, and I joked about starting our own clothing company after having a disappointing work experience with another designer. When it got to be crunch time (about November) we stopped joking about it and actually started to look at it as a possibility. The more we looked into it, the better it seemed – She had all of the marketing experience and I had all of the design/production experience. We came up with the name “Frill” and officially started the company in January of this year.
Q: What kind of clothing do you sell and who is it geared toward?
A: Frill specializes in the creation of custom recruitment dresses for sororities. This is how it works:
-Recruitment directors come to us with inspiration/ideas
-We sketch multiple design options based on their needs
-They pick one or two designs
-We finalize a fabric choice & make samples
-We host a fitting at their house
-We produce all of the dresses
-We deliver the dresses to the sorority
-We write a check to the philanthropy that they support (normally about $5 per dress)
Q: Has starting a business been different, easier or more difficult than you initially thought?
A: In general, starting a business has been easier than I thought it would be. Sure dealing with all of the financial aspects can be a little tricky, but I think we’ve done a great job of building a strong foundation for ourselves. Everyone that we hire is treated like family – They’re people we’ve known for years, we value their opinions and in general, they’re just good people. We really believe that’s what makes the difference in a company.
Q: Who are your biggest fashion inspirations?
A: I really like looking to fashion bloggers for inspiration. I like them because they are real, everyday, down-to-earth people. A lot of them are our age and they always wear a variety of different styles/designers.
Q: What’s it like to manage a business and start a business?
A: It’s been really empowering. It’s a great feeling to create something and watch it grow so rapidly!
Q: What are your post-college plans, for yourself and Frill?
A: After college, I hope to focus completely on Frill. We hope to expand to more schools and grow the company.
Q: What do you hope to offer to sororities?
A: It’s a great opportunity for sororities because it gives them the chance to show the potentials their true style/personality and allows them to easily raise money for their philanthropies. Plus, we make sure that no other sorority has the same exact dress as them for 3 years.
We have 2 seasons/year:
-Spring/Summer for Fall Recruitment
-Fall/Winter for Spring Recruitment
Our dresses cost between $70 – $100 a piece
Our skirts cost between $40 – $60
All of our products are made in the US