You may remember when we featured Sarah Greisdorf back in June. She was working to launch her amazing womenswear line that features full-sized pockets. Yes you read that right! Did you know historically women’s pockets have always been smaller than mens’ pockets?! Holdette is now officially about to be live as a direct to consumer e-commerce brand producing women’s professional workwear with functional pockets. Through this entrepreneurial venture she is working to empower college-aged women and those entering the workforce for the first time.
Her Campus: We are so excited that Holdette is officially about to launch! Could you share a little about your launch day/week plan? Anything exciting our readers should expect?
Sarah Greisdorf: We’re launching next week and are excited about all the ways we’re taking our community along with us! We’ll be hosting an event every day focusing on our favorite female founded companies, 2021 goal setting, and trends to keep an eye on in 2021 concluding with our launch on January 8th! We are especially excited about our event on January 7th which will be co-hosted by Her Campus all about products that have been designed for women by women!
HC: Upon launch, will readers be able to purchase a suit? Is there an estimated time for when they will receive their suit?
SG: Yes! As soon as we launch, readers will be able to purchase our blazer and pants together as a full suit or buy each piece separately. Customers will receive their orders within one to two weeks. We’re also running pre-sales ahead of our official launch so if you want to make sure you get one of our first suits, you can place your order early. We only have a limited number and we expect them to go pretty quickly.
HC: Tell us a bit about the manufacturing process. What was your strategy for sourcing materials and seamstresses etc.
SG: Getting started with a manufacturing partner is definitely one of the hardest parts of the process. We worked with a couple of different agencies to help us get the process going, and they've helped source all of our materials and get our development process done.
HC: What advice would you share with other young entrepreneurs looking to break into your industry?
SG: When I decided to launch my own clothing line, I had folks who had already created their own lines say to me, “If I knew what it took to get a clothing line off the ground, I never would have done it”. This never deterred me because I was more willing to deal with all of the difficulty than part with the idea of bringing Holdette to life. If you read that quote and think "I’d rather work really really hard than walk away", this industry is probably for you too.
HC: What is the best piece of advice you received from your Aussie Business Plan Competition mentor?
SG: My mentor, Lillian Rafson, taught me the difference between making decisions for me and making them for Holdette. Sometimes I had to make decisions for Holdette that I personally didn’t want to make, but that would lead Holdette down the right path in the long run. She also taught me how to examine myself as both a leader and a manager and where those two roles overlap, but also where I could focus on growing in each of them.
HC: What is your goal for your company by the end of 2020? By 2025?
SG: By the end of 2020, we are going to be on the brink of launching. We’re excited to continue actively growing our Back Pocket membership community and finding new ways to support college-age and recent grad women as much as possible. By 2025, are hoping to be a leader in the workwear space and be the go-to place for women seeking support through every part of the transition to adulthood.
HC: Tell us about the design inspiration behind the Leslie suit.
SG: I’ve always had a special place in my heart for workwear. In high school I had to wear a uniform, but I often wore a blazer over my button down and plaid skirt while my classmates opted for sweaters and sweatshirts. When it came to designing my own suit, I pulled a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and worked with a fashion professor at Rhode Island School of Design to land on a style I thought was professional but also youthful. The suit is named after two Leslies; one is a woman that I looked up to growing up who had the best energy and was always so enthusiastic about the work she was doing, and the other is Parks and Recreation's Leslie Knope–for obvious reasons.
HC: I believe you’re only selling a certain number of the first suit. Tell us a little more about this strategy.
SG: As we get off the ground, launching with a limited number of suits allows us to directly communicate with each and everyone of our customers. This strategy will help ensure we’re able to get crucial feedback on the suit and make adjustments for our next run, if needed.
HC: Anything else our readers should be on the lookout for from Holdette?!
SG: Our membership community, Back Pocket, is hosted on Slack and is constantly growing and adding new programming. If you are looking to connect with other college-age or recent grad women, this is 100% the place that you should be! See you inside the Pocket!
Learn more about the Aussie Business Plan Competition, here.