I can say with confidence that Denver Startup Week has probably never hosted another dress form startup. But against the odds, Beatrice made a rare appearance at the Physical Product Showcase representing the latest in sewing tech alongside the IoT dog collars and food startups. Nate and I got a kick out of seeing attendees light up when they finally wrapped their heads around what we do!
Even though we weren’t at a craft event, we bumped into quite a few people who sew or know someone who does. And a surprising number of the folks who didn’t sew were still fascinated with our forms and had a ton of questions for us. I had a draping activity planned with our half-scale forms but was too busy answering questions to get to it.
Being the black sheep has its benefits
Showing at a non-sewing related event turned out to be a great choice for us. For one, our booth really stood out from the crowd. As people passed by, our one-of-a-kind forms grabbed their attention which they quickly recognized as real people. Because our product is unusual yet personally relatable at the same time, it’s an instant conversation starter.
Since the Physical Product Showcase prohibits sales of any kind, it attracts people who just want to discover new things. It gave us the chance to meet a wide range of makers, engineers, business leaders, and other entrepreneurs. They had all sorts of good ideas about new markets, improvements to our tech, and potential collaborations.
We had the pleasure of meeting Nicole Contos who’s building a one-stop shop for apparel brands that design specifically to meet the needs of people with disabilities. She’s curious to know if designers could benefit from working with body scan-based forms of people in wheelchairs and other positions.
We’re curious too! For example, to adapt fashion for wheelchair use, jacket backs need to be cropped and pants need higher backs, among other things. What other improvements or customizations would be easier to create with a scan based form or just a digital model? What an exciting design challenge!
If you’re a maker or creative business owner, I highly recommend considering attending your city’s startup events and meetups. Entrepreneurs are creators too and can be a wonderful source of inspiration.