Our Brief History
I wrote my first cold pitch to a vendor in February 2015. All I had was a landing page for madefair.co and a tenuous promise something new and exciting was coming in August.
The next 6 months were grinding. It was like placing stacks of chips on every square on a roulette table, hoping spreading my resources around for the best odds to win.
When I spun the wheel and sent MadeFAIR live, I sat in my aunt and uncle's basement in Littleton, Colorado, among dozens upon dozens of pressed and packaged garments that were stacked not-so-neatly on every available surface.
I got my first sale: $52 for a pair of black ballet flats from The Root Collective. Now, imagine a scream so loud that the neighbors thought my aunt and uncle had some Silence of the Lambs stuff going on. Luckily for them, it wouldn't happen again for another month, when I had made my way back to Cambodia (did I mention that? I ran MadeFAIR from Cambodia).
MadeFAIR will never be featured in Forbes, or even the Shopify blog for overnight success. No one involved ever worked for a hedge fund, was winked at by a fashion industry insider, or can list a Fortune 500 company on her resume. The only thing that drove us was ethical fashion. We did a good thing.
And all good things come to an end.
We were visiting my in-laws in Cambridge, England when I took the site offline. There was no fanfare, store closing, or even a warm letter of thanks to our amazing customers who helped us beat our first month's sales of $52 month after month after month. In fact, I didn't even know what to put in place of our store, so I just found an image of the Houses of Parliament because. . . yeah, because.
I won't say, exactly, why I had to do this (astute customers who shopped during our flash sale can likely guess), but it was the right thing to do. However, it leaves me with a glaring elephant in the room: what will we do with all of our leftover stock?
Later this year, I'll be going back to Colorado for a few weeks to liquidate/consign/donate it. Watch this space and sign-up for our newsletters to see when/where the best discounts in ethical fashion will be.
Now, for the important bit: What will happen to MadeFAIR?
Oh, I'll still be here -- on Squarespace instead of Shopify -- because now I can write about ethics, fashion, and business, rather than write lines of code to move a photo 5 pixels to the right. My hope is that my short time at the reigns of an ethical fashion store will offer some valuable insight into the industry, as well as the not-so-glamorous parts of owning a sustainable business.