Besides winning a grant, this program gives you access to mentors at Stitchfix and training, geared to your business. I grew so much from over 30 hours of mentorship with Stitchfix leaders from operations, sales, PR, marketing, manufacturing and data science. I literally have a 30 page running document with all the gems they shared and have been implementing changes to scale DIARRABLU intelligently and responsibly.
Stitchfix is a fashion tech company with no fashion designers but rather have data scientists and former NASA engineers as employees. Through this progam not only was I able to learn so much from the data science teams but also, had access to their specific data for DIARRABLU. For example, I was able to get input from over 2 million Stitchfix customers before designing our Fall capsule for them and learned exactly what to produce for different demographics.
||Part of winning the elevate grant is becoming a vendor at Stitchfix and little did I expect how big their order would be. We received our largest order in the history of DIARRABLU and tripled our artisanal workforce in Senegal within 4 months. I will share a separate article later about how we were able to do this while staying true to our artisanal values and all the challenges and opportunities we faced with scaling operations.|
The Elevate program allowed me to become friends with the other grantees Busayo Olupona (@busayonyc), Bettina Benson (@chloekristyn), Jamela Acheampong (@kahmune), Marcus Alexander (@marcus___alexander) and Robin Sirleaf (@sarepandrose), who are now like family! Our group chat is always popping and we have become so close. For example, one of them, chose to spend hous calling DHL for me to help solve our customs issues last week because I was on a long flight with no internet.
This Summer, all 6 grantees were flown to New York to shoot our campaign while also producing the content for a Youtube episodic series to tell our story. Stitchfix hired an entire team for the creative conception and production and the results are impressive. Most importantly, we got to all meet, had so much fun in the city, became models and created so much magic.
Our collection is now available on Stitchfix at
I can’t recommend this program enough and recommend designers to apply to join the new class. Applications are live and the deadline is October 31.