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Entrepreneurs En Vogue | Conversations with Successful Millennial Women Entrepreneurs

ENTREPRENEURS EN VOGUE is a weekly podcast that gives a unique insight into the savvy secrets of successful female entrepreneurs of Gen Y. Each week this podcast will feature notable women innovators from around the world and across multiple industries talking about their entrepreneurial journey, their successes, their failures and other trends, happenings, and interesting things. These inspirational women have turned their lives around and stepped onto the path of success, fulfillment and financial independence. But for every woman that has succeeded in pursuing her entrepreneurial dreams, there are thousands who quietly are searching for that inspiration to move forward.
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Aug 15, 2016

Born in Iran and raised in Louisiana, Helya Mohammadian knew she wanted to be in fashion from the start. She studied fashion design at LSU and quickly realized that New York City was where she needed to be to pursue her dream. After working at Bergdorf Goodman and all these “crazy fashion houses,” she decided that traditional fashion was "too stuffy" and not for her. While taking a break from the industry, she had an idea for a product, that we now fondly know of as Slick Chicks and jumped back into the fashion industry - challenging tradition and the industry she grew up loving. 

"I would love to see this be a product that really just changes the way women think about underwear as a whole."

Her mission and passion, however, quickly evolved. Originally, Mohammadian was targeting the “athleisure” market and fulfilling more a want than a need. "I wasn't even thinking about the healthcare market when I launched this product." After receiving emails from handicapped, elderly, and otherwise-disabled women, she realized that her product was necessary for fulfilling a need rather than a want. "The whole idea is to give women a functional, convenient product that's also attractive." It’s so unheard of - even though it shouldn’t be - that Slick Chicks is currently patent-pending for the overall design of the underwear.

Was it a struggle? Absolutely. Has the struggle stopped? Absolutely not. "It's definitely been a process; it's not overnight for sure." But it’s an ongoing process and Mohammadian isn’t stopping or slowing down anytime soon. "Part of it is [that] I don't want to let people down, but I also don't want to let myself down. I don't want to let the people that believe in this product and can use this product [down]."

So how did it start and how is it happening? Here are 5 themes to take away from the podcast:

  1. Research "I pretty much just Googled pattern-makers and asked friends and people that were kind of in the same network of fashion design and apparel. I kind of just did my research, which is what I always suggest for people to do."
  2. Outreach "The number one recommendation I have is outreach. Outreach outreach outreach."
  3. Teamwork "If you really want to grow a business, and you want to grow your product and your brand, you have to bring in a good team of people that are also passionate and that want to see your vision through."
  4. Specialized Startup Accelerator "For anyone who is in this industry, it's really hard to find retail accelerators. Fashion, in itself, is hard to find people that, you know - if you're looking for VCs or angel investors - it's pretty difficult. It's competitive, and this is an actual product; it's not really tech or service-based so TrendSeeder was definitely something I had to jump on.”
  5. Kickstarter "I think Kickstarter is definitely the way to go. Yes, your friends and family are going to support you, but see how much support you get from people that don't know you and the feedback. Is there a proof of concept?"

Want more? LISTEN for details.

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