While the fashion community continues to grow in Grand Rapids, it seems to be fragmented without a common purpose. Rag Trade GR will unite local owners, fashion-lovers, shoppers, and aspiring designers in a unique and visually stunning online destination. Think of it as a virtual fashion magazine dedicated directly to West Michigan! It will be a website that has multiple functions but will act as a one stop source for information on local fashion sales, fashion events, and features on local boutiques and up-and-coming designers.
First, RTGR will act as a fashion events calendar with an easy-to-use and image driven interface. I can’t say how many times I have missed an amazing event, simply because there wasn’t a source for information on it. We will strive to feature EVERY fashion event in the area. Visitors will be able to easily see upcoming events visually represented on the calendar with an image (original photography), view future events, and see events they might have missed.
Next, RTGR will act as a source for information on sales and specials at local boutiques, as well as features on the boutiques themselves. Each sale or special will be represented in a fashion story featuring original photography. In the case of a sale, the photography story will feature the clothes included in the sale. In the case of a feature on the boutique, it will include a cross-section of what that store offers regularly as well as price points to inform the shoppers. Here, store owners may also choose to offer coupons or specials to visitors of Rag Trade. Think of this as an interactive fashion magazine that speaks directly to the local consumer and drives sales back to the local level.
Finally, RTGR will act as a platform and a spotlight for local designers who are doing amazing things. One of the largest gaps in our local fashion scene is a strong springboard for the talent that exists here. I know of many amazingly talented designers who hide in the shadows of the undiscovered. It will give work to new designers, enabling them to stay in West Michigan and start a career! Once again, using original photography, we will feature these designers and their work. RTGR will offer a way to connect the designers to consumers who will purchase their designs. This will also serve as a way to connect designers to local boutiques who may carry their fashions!
Supporting local talent, local business, and local fashion: VOTE FOR RAG TRADE GR!
The goal of Rag Trade GR is to bring together local fashionista’s to advance the fashion industry here in Grand Rapids. There is a tangible love of all things fashion here that could be cultivated and nurtured. Rag Trade GR will make that easier. Rag Trade GR will catapult the fashion industry in Grand Rapids forward with a vigorous force! This one site could be the catalyst for something incredible, melding together and supporting a bold new industry.
What I Will Do With $5,000
This grant would allow me to build this amazing website. The money would go directly into designing, building, and launching the site. It would also help to hire a small staff of reporters and experts to cover the fashion stories happening in Grand Rapids. We will encourage local shopping, supporting local business-owners, and perhaps even begin to give out grants of our own to up-coming new designers. This money would jump-start a chain reaction