The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have ignited strong outrage and overdue action nationwide. Communities well beyond Minneapolis, Louisville and Glynn County are mobilizing to address our institutions’ systemic complicity in and complacency toward racism.
Social media has elevated the profile of these cases, but countless others have gone unaddressed or unseen. It is important to understand that racism in America manifests itself well beyond these episodes, and in many environments outside of policing. Many of us cannot begin to understand the pain that black communities are feeling at this time and the institutional hardships they continuously face. At Resonance, we are looking inward.
Resonance exists to change a broken industry. As we work towards this goal, it is our responsibility to address fashion’s failure to include and support black creators: you can’t reimagine fashion without reimagining who is making fashion. We are not looking for a reactionary, quick fix; we are looking to do our part to level the playing field.
This is why we are announcing beResonant, a program that will enable ten black creators to supercharge their brands into valuable and sustainable fashion businesses on the Resonance platform. Resonance will provide each participant with financial, operational, educational, and marketing support, including $50,000 in cash, products, and services.
The online application for the inaugural beResonant class will close on Tuesday, June 30th. Selected applicants will be contacted on a rolling basis until July 9th for interviews, and final decisions will be communicated on July 21st. The program will begin on July 27th and last four months.
Leveling the playing field for black creators is a mission that can’t afford to lose momentum when the news cycle quiets. While beResonant was born out of the current moment, we are committed to ensuring its impact is long and far-reaching.
Q. What is Resonance?
A. Resonance is a technology company that builds sustainable and valuable fashion businesses (brands, manufacturers, and retailers) using its proprietary cloud-based platform, create.ONE.
Q. What is create.ONE?
A. create.ONE is a technology platform ー think of it as a fashion business operating system ー that begins at raw materials and spans all the way to your customer’s doorstep. It enables fashion businesses to DESIGN, SELL, MAKE (in that order) a single garment, sustainably and on-demand, as efficiently as 1,000 garments produced in a traditional manufacturing environment. With create.ONE, a creator can design a garment in the morning, sell it on their brand’s website (or anywhere else) that afternoon, manufacture it that evening, and ship it the customer who purchased it the next day.
Q. How does create.ONE create meaningful value for fashion brands?
A. The magic lies in DESIGN, SELL, MAKEーand yes, the order matters!
First, let’s talk about the legacy model. In traditional contemporary retail, garments are DESIGNED (6-18 months ahead of time), MADE in bulk (based on assumption-laden sales forecasts and manufacturing minimums), and shipped and stored in warehouses as inventory before a single unit is ever SOLD. Your marketing strategy centers around clearing that inventory out of the warehouse as fast as possible (because all of your cash got tied-up buying it) and, even with great marketing, much of that inventory either a) gets sold at a discount (creates financial waste) or b) doesn’t sell at all, and gets incinerated or put in landfill (creates financial and environmental waste). In a third scenario, which may even be worse, you have a hit product that sells out right away, and it takes you months to get restocked. By then, you’ve lost the additional sales you could have made and new customers you could have gained.
For you and your brand, inventory poses the biggest risk.
Now, imagine what your business would look like if you had the capability to manufacture garments on-demand so that you never MADE a single garment until it was SOLD, and never stored a garment for more than the time it takes to pack and ship? No inventory. No inventory means no upfront gamble on product that may or may not resonate, ordered in volumes that may or may not align with consumer behavior. No warehouses. No marketing investment or price reductions purely for the sake of moving product. No destruction of product that fills landfills or pollutes our skies. No financial risk of failure for creative experimentation. No lost sales when you can sell more. When you remove inventory, you unleash creativity, you create value, and you unlock sustainability.
Ready for the best part? This isn’t a pipe dream: create.ONE makes all of this possible today. Click here to see DESIGN, SELL, MAKE in action!
Q. What is beResonant?
A. beResonant is an initiative to enable black creators to build and run their own sustainable and valuable fashion brand on Resonance’s proprietary technology platform. Resonance will provide each creator with financial, educational, operational and marketing support, and mentorship by industry leaders. Our inaugural class of 10 creators will join us in July 2020.
Q. Why does beResonant exist?
A. Since we started, the goal for Resonance has been to reimagine the fashion industry. But how can we reimagine fashion without reimagining who is creating fashion? There is an opportunity gap in this country and in this industry for black people. beResonant is a small step towards starting to close it.
Q. Who are we looking for?
A. We are looking for black creators - designers, artists and innovators dedicated to building a fashion brand that is environmentally and socially sustainable, and financially valuable.
Q. Do I already have to have a brand?
A. No, but it’s a big plus. We need you to tell us how you get out and find your first (or next) 100 customers. This program is about building valuable brands - sales and profits!
Q. If I live outside of the US, can I participate?
A. Unfortunately, we must restrict applicants to only US-based participants for this first class of creators. We plan to expand for future classes.
Q. How will beResonant work?
A. Resonance will contribute $50,000 in the form of cash, products, and services to enable each creator to launch their brand on our platform in as few as 30 days, and build their brand over the remainder of the program. This is fast, but we have changed all of the rules for this industry. Our platform enables creators to get to market quickly, rapidly learn from the market, and iteratively grow a valuable and sustainable brand. beResonant will also provide mentorship and business coaching to support success through the duration of the program.
Q. What is the application process?
A. There is an online application that you’ll need to fill out. It has two parts: a series of short-form questions and a video submission. You can find it here.
Applications are due by June 30, and we will review on a rolling basis. The sooner you have your application in, the better!
Our panel of outside and Resonance judges will evaluate all submissions. A group of finalists will be selected for a video interview.
All selected participants will be notified by July 7 and the program will start on July 15.
Q. Will you tell me what I can and can’t say on my designs?
A. No. Creation-driven is one of Resonance’s core values, and creation-driven is about letting creators create with freedom. Sometimes creation is about being uncomfortable. As long as it is a serious effort (and as long as it does not violate any established laws), we’re good.f
Q. What happens at the end of the beResonant program?
A. You leave and run your brand. With us, or without us.
We don’t have any rights to anything you have created or anything to do with your brand. If you want to stay with us on our platform, we will charge your successful brand 20% of revenue, like we do for every brand on our platform (it reduces as you sell more). What’s different is that we will take use our share of your revenue to fund other black creators through this program. Your success will pave the way for other black creators to follow.
Q. What services are included in the beResonant program?
A. We will help you with all the critical activities:
DESIGN Services: We will help you develop new products or get your current products on our platform. We have some restrictions in construction and materials (all natural fiber - no poly) but color and design is unlimited!
SELL Services: Resonance will execute website setup, provide marketing support, and cover the cost of your first product photography shoot (not to exceed $2,500 including photographer, hair/makeup, photo retouching, and models). We will also launch your brand in our online store, Resonant.
MAKE Services: All production services, logistics, and manufacturing/ overhead costs will be covered by Resonance for the four-month term. After products are sold, our factory will be repaid for the cost of those products.
LAUNCH Services: Resonance will perform all support services to launch the brand including on-boarding you onto the create.ONE platform and day-to-day full-stack support across Design, Sell, Make functions to ensure success. Specific services include but are not limited to: planning and calendar, print design/ file management, design support, website instantiation, order management, and customer service. But let’s be really clear - we are not running your brand. YOU ARE! We will teach you to fish, but you need to do the fishing.
FINANCE Services: Resonance will support basic back office financial operations (including bookkeeping, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and reporting) necessary for running your brand. We will teach you about finance and everything in your brand will be completely transparent.
EDUCATIONAL Resources: In additional to financial and operational support, Resonance will also provide a series of educational tools and resources to help you build and run a successful fashion business, including a speaker series and access to mentorship from industry leaderships.
Q. How will you select creators?
A. We are looking for creators that can demonstrate the most amount of commercial viability based on their connection to existing and/or potential customers. How will we assess this?
Your video submission! This is your opportunity to tell us who you are and what you want your brand to achieve.
Other inputs we will consider:
Demonstrated success in past career and personal pursuits (fashion or otherwise)
Awards and achievements
Q. What is expected of me?
A. A lot. We are investing a lot of time and energy and resources in building 10 successful brands, led by black creators, that will shape the future of this industry. We expect the same level of commitment from you.
Energy! You should be willing and able to dedicate ~40 hours a week over the span of four months to this project. This commitment is not exclusive, and you should feel free to uphold other commitments outside of the program as long as these do not interfere with your ability to build and run the brand!
Print/ Colors: You will be responsible for designing all colors and prints used in apparel designs. Previous apparel or print design experience is not required.
Content Management and Ongoing Marketing: At Resonance, we believe that a brand is a conversation with the customer. You will be responsible for building your brand’s voice and owning that conversation. You are responsible for developing your key marketing messaging and the creative content/assets you need to communicate those messages through your owned channels (organic social and email). You will have access to Resonance’s marketing team for support.
Brand Ownership and Resonance Standard Operating Procedures: You will run the brand. You will adhere to standard Resonance process expectations. If he or she does not, Resonance may terminate the relationship at any time and cease further funding.
Q. What are some other details of the program?
A. Here they are:
Each participant will receive a monthly stipend of $3,000 advanced as a draw against future profits. This will be paid back at a rate of 10% of profits of the business (until re-paid). You could also take this money as a consulting fee (not a loan) as long as you have a corporate Federal Tax ID.
Our platform supports contemporary apparel categories. We don’t do structured suiting, for example. Also, we do not support synthetics or skins. We do not do footwear, or non-fabric accessories.
At end of contract, there is no obligation for either party to continue. You are entitled to keep samples, creative, and continue the website at your own cost.
Q. Where will my product sell?
A. You will sell on your own site (this can be an existing site or a new site that Resonance builds). We will also sell your product on Resonant, Resonance’s multi-brand online retail shop.
Q. Do I need clothing design experience in order to participate?
A. No! Creators create. Period. We are not looking for trained designers. We are looking for people who can build a brand. Our platform is designed to support a spectrum of design expertise. Our team is here to support creators of all skill sets.
Q. Do you have any existing brands I can check out?
A. Yes - please find the brands we’re currently partnering with here.