Fashion Forward Maternity couldn't be more of a new economy start-up if it tried. The four-month-old e-commerce start-up is a virtual firm with co-founders spread between Harrison Township and Colorado who go to school in Ann Arbor. And they're taking top awards at a business plan competition at the University of Michigan.
Fashion Forward Maternity won the Pryor-Hale Award for Best Business, the top prize worth $20,000 in cash, at last week's Michigan Business Challenge
at U-M's Ross School of Business
. Fashion Forward Maternity is a socially responsible online boutique geared toward professional women in need of maternity clothes. The customers can borrow high-quality and designer maternity and nursing fashions at a fraction of the price of new.
"It's easy for a woman to spend $3,000 on a maternity wardrobe," says Erin Lewis, president of Fashion Forward Maternity
and an executive MBA student at U-M. "That is if she doesn't keep changing sizes."
Fashion Forward Maternity currently is working with a team of three people. It is set to launch later this year and aims to go mainstream and serve a nationwide audience within the next year. Lewis expects her company to grow to 10-15 people when that happens.
"We'd like to get some folks from the University of Michigan working on the marketing and tech sides," Lewis says.
Source: Erin Lewis, president of Fashion Forward Maternity
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.