Miami, the place for startups defining the new luxury.
SUSTAINABLE. CONSCIOUS. INCLUSIVE.
A post curated by Odile Roujol and Frank Bitoun, with quotes of our amazing guest speakers.
Photos by @quentinalanphotography.
Miami second FaB meeting took place at Venture City, hosted by Frank Bitoun (Founder of @Gleammee), Miami’s chapter leader: « We discussed about innovative ways to educate and attract consumers into circular models in fashion and clean beauty, how to combine design and eCommerce with recycled clothing, 3D printing to potentially be the future of manufacturing clean garments and why natural skincare products usage should become the easy everyday routine instead of using cheap and toxics cosmetics. We also talked about what first time entrepreneurs should know and do when engaging with investors at early stage and how important it is to find a “value added” investor who knows your market and whom you like and trust, then build a relationship of openness and confidence. »
First panel: “Entrepreneurship in sustainable fashion and clean beauty”.
Valeria Savino, co-founder of NOMAD TRIBE and PIVOT MKT at THE CITADEL, Denise Serrano, co-founder and creative director at R-FITTING-ROOM, Gabriella Smith, founder at THEUPCYCLEPROJECT, Julia Daviy, co-founder at the NEW AGE LAB, Karina Moises, founder at BEAUTOLOGY LAB
Moderated by Frank Bitoun
What means entrepreneurship in sustainable fashion and clean beauty?
« In my case started with the responsibility I felt as a designer, to research and make better choices when creating new products and then soon, raising awareness about textile waste and creating visual elements that inspire people to adopt better habits when buying and disposing of their clothes became a big part of my mission » Valeria
Entrepreneurship is my path to give birth to what many considered impossible when speaking about the intersection of technology, ecology, and design level.” Julia
« Entrepreneurship is the willingness and courage to create your own path when it comes to what you’re passionate about. » Karina
What inspired you to create your business?
« I could not find the fashion products of my dream in the market and be tired to wait when someone creates them. Finally, I realized that if I want to have this happened, that’s me who must implement that. » Julia
« We understood that as a small sustainable brand the only way to survive was coming together with other entrepreneurs, activists, and institutions to create a strong community. A sustainability hub to inspire people with an innovative retail experience focused on recontextualizing value for the consumer. » Valeria
What about education and awareness?
« Education breeds awareness which is one of the most powerful tools in shifting an industry towards truly clean skincare »Karina
« Education and awareness of community come from education and awareness of business owners and decision-makers. Constant research, innovation, and design thinking of products and processes, which lead to zero- and even positive impact on the natural environment and other living beings, is what any business needs today.” Valeria
How can technology help?
« I believe that true sustainability is achievable with a new business approach, new materials, and a new design. I see it at the intersection of environmental science, biotech, computational design, digital products, and 3D printing.” Valeria
Why Miami is the right place to be? « Miami has the right mix of diversity, proximity, capital, spirit, and grit to become a hub for passionate entrepreneurs in any industry. » Karina
« Miami has developed a solid infrastructure of support systems for first time founders and a culture of innovation and experimentation » Jon
Second Panel: a discussion about “what it takes to invest in early stage startups in South Florida”.
Jonathan Cole, Director at New World Angels, Pedro Sostre. Managing Director WeWork Labs Miami, Panel moderated by Odile Roujol Founder Fab community and Funder FaB Ventures (seed stage, D2C).
Founders, How to build a trust relationship with your investor. From the pitch, to the board dynamic and reporting.
« Try to find a “value added” investor who knows your market and whom you like and trust. Then build a relationship of openness and confidence in each other’s judgment »
« For an investor who brings more than money, offer a Board seat if you are ready to accept guidance and accountability. Closer is generally better, as long as the investor and founder are compatible »
« Be straight and realistic. Know what you don’t know and be honest about it. Seek advice and listen carefully. The investors are just another group of prospective customers for what you are trying to sell. »
« Build your network carefully and thoughtfully. You will be known at initial impression by the company you keep. » Jon
Miami could be the next new city to watch in Fashion and Beauty.
“Multicultural leaders will be the new global champions in the fashion and beauty industries. They have the ability to change industry landscapes, define new frontiers. I met in Miami fashion and beauty lovers and a beautiful and inspiring community, spearheading positive changes.
When you visit the Miami design district, you enjoy a unique experience. I believe Miami has the ability to define a new luxury: mixing digital with the in store experience, making people wander in beautiful outdoor spaces, with places to relax, being delighted, admiring art and architecture, discovering new things. Experience is the new luxury. Here you have Cuyana, Rebag, Warby Parker, next door to Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel. And it feels right. You are just being inspired.” Odile
« Since we started our FaB Miami chapter in September 2019, I am more and more convinced that Miami is one of the place to be in the world for Fashion and Beauty founders.
Not only because we are the gateway to Latin America and the largest entrepreneurship community in US, or we developed lately a fast growing startup ecosystem and innovative art & business areas like the Miami design district or wynwood and not only because Florida was again the state attracting most new investments in 2019 in US … and those are already very good reasons … but also because every day I feel surrendered by passionate people into an unique and diverse community where rage to succeed and to change the world mixed perfectly with goodwill and sharing with others. » Frank
“As LA has experienced fires and drought, Miami has seen the consequences of the rising sea levels and floods. I believe every founder in Miami think of the climate change every day, not as an idea but in their daily life. I’m convinced a new generation of leaders is emerging in Miami. Open to the world (close to Europe and Latin America) and wanting to raise consumer’s awareness. Developing new products and services, building disruptive companies. As one of the guest speakers said: in Miami, there are already the Business Angels and the luxury customers. Now, the emerging startups just need to scale, backed by VCs. I’m convinced Miami will be a new hub for startups, inspiring other ecosystems.” Odile
Bios of our guest speakers and a few links:
Jonathan Cole. Jon has 45+ years of experience working with entrepreneurs and their investors, initially as an attorney and in recent years as an advisor and angel investor. He was a founding Director of the Florida Venture Forum. He is also a founder and current Vice Chair of New World Angels, one of Florida’s premier angel investment groups. Jon received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his law degree from Harvard Law School.
Pedro Sostre. Pedro leads innovation and startups for the WeWork Labs in Miami. As the Labs Manager, he is focused on building and supporting the global innovation platform for early-stage startups and forward-thinking enterprise companies in South Florida. Pedro is a 3x founder and a published author focused on growth, branding, and strategy.
Gabriella Smith @gabriellasmith @theupcycleproject. As the Founder of the UpCycle Project, Gabriella has made it her goal to raise awareness on the waste the fashion industry creates by creating hands on workshops, student mentorship programs, inspiring discussions, TEDx Talks as well as disruptive events and you products that find circular solutions for fashion and other industries.
Denise Serrano Jost. In 2019, she founded in Miami along with her business partner Fernando Chang, a new sustainable digital platform for the world of fashion created for designers who have a story to tell through CIRCULAR FASHION, a new vision that is based on the reuse of textile materials creating One of a Kind pieces, committing to decrease the footprint regardless the love for styling by building fun and versatile upcycled wardrobe. At R-Fitting Room’s platform the mission is to house the best creative talents inside and outside the United States under the same concept, re-create unique pieces bring awareness around the modern fashion industry’s waste, by opening up to a new labor market that expands day by day and continues to grow,and promoting more ethical and sustainable fashion habits and practices. Buying nothing new and giving back to environmental causes.
Valeria Saviano. Co-founder and Creative Director of Pivot Mkt, the first sustainable department store in Miami. A community of 40+ brands that have come together to deliver a unique shopping experience with a big focus on consumer education and sustainable practices such as swap clothes parties, recycling, and DYI workshops. In 2015, she co-founded Nomad Tribe, a conscious clothing brand committed to designing better products and less waste.
Julia Daviy. She is a solution designer for zero-impact and beneficial products, working on the crossroads of sustainability and co-founder of the NEW AGE LAB, technology, and fashion. With a background in Environmental science, clean technology, and 3D printing, she developed a zero-waste method for wearable clothing production using 3D printing. She created the Liberation Collection of wearable clothes manufactured in SLA and large-format FDM 3D printers.
Karina Moises. The Founder and Chief Beautologist of BEAUTOLOGY LAB, a natural lab creating earth-to-skin nutrition for all. Her mission is to create the world’s cleanest skincare brand that changes the way we approach skin health.
KEY LINKS for the community including site, linked group, and page Fab Miami:
Yes, join the movement!
Thank you again to our guest speakers and host Venture City. See you soon at the next meeting!
Odile and Frank