"Being able to have a concept in my head, and then to work with and design and bring that to life is just so rewarding," said Nicole Muhammad within the red-and-white walls of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator.
Muhammad is a clinical psychologist who moonlights as the creator of Sew Elevated. Her brand reached new heights when she partnered with the incubator.
"We get into everything that's required for running a fashion business from marketing, manufacturing," she said. "We've met with all kinds of mentors from all over the world that have helped us to grow our brands and just become leaders and excel in this industry."
One of her mentors, Elissa Bloom, has been pioneering this project for 10 years.
"Our mission is really to support emerging fashion designers in growing and scaling their businesses here in Philadelphia," said Bloom, a fashion-industry veteran and the creator of Elissa Bloom New York.
Bloom says it is rewarding to see her designers fly from the nest of her incubator and continue to expand their businesses in Philadelphia.
"It's been exciting just to see how each designer is really focused on their unique design essence and what they're interested in bringing to the customer," she added.
Another one of those designers, Emily Soloby, is creating shoes for an underserved market in women's fashion.
"We're making stylish safety boots for women in traditionally male-dominated roles such as engineering, architecture, construction," said Soloby, the creator of Juno Jones. "It allows her to feel like she's been noticed like she's been acknowledged on the job site."
The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator has helped once-newly established designers like Soloby and Muhammad to turn their ideas into careers.
The incubator also hosts a Fashion Thursdays program virtually for members of the public who are not enrolled in their residency program. To learn more, visit their website.
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