New Program to Assist Local Designers

Apr. 1 Omaha, NE – Omaha Fashion Week (OFW) is excited to announce a special partnership with SAC Federal Credit Union to assist the local designer community. This new program addresses an existing problem: In eight years, the fashion community of 200+ designers ages 13 to 65 has come a long way, but still has a lot of work to do on commercializing their work and creating sustainable businesses.

Omaha Fashion Week has helped designers get started by providing critical exposure during biannual fashion shows. The majority of designers have gained sales over the years, with some bringing in up to $50,000 in revenue.  OFW founder and producer, Nick Hudson, is excited about the future.  “We have proven that there is a talented community here.  The next big stage is to support growth of these small businesses and that takes some different resources, “he said. “That is why we were excited when SAC Federal Credit Union decided to increase their involvement.”  SAC has been an OFW sponsor for three years and is expanding its involvement to nurture individual designers into sustainable businesses.

“Our goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs by partnering with them to meet their business’ financial needs,” SAC Federal Credit Union CEO, Gail DeBoer said.  “SAC’s partnership with Omaha Fashion Week, and the designers and business owners, who support the event, is a way for us to extend our services to the design community.  There is high potential to create jobs and expand businesses through Omaha Fashion Week and SAC is proud to be a part of the movement.”

The SAC partnership with OFW has a number of facets:

  • An expanded package of prizes has been announced, giving more opportunities to the designers, hairstylists and models involved in OFW productions.
  • A program of business and financial advice is being provided through the partnership that will support designers by helping them develop business plans, and enhance how they manage their business growth.
  • Credit products are being tailored specifically for designers that will dovetail with the business and financial advising program.  These products will help designers grow their businesses responsibly, by allowing them to buy supplies and equipment needed to expand their businesses.

Currently, SAC representatives are working with a pilot group of designers to further develop the advice and credit portion of the program.  “The idea is to tailor the program to meet the unique needs of designers.  It’s a concierge banking program for small, creative businesses,” added DeBoer.   The hope is that the program will expand beyond designers to include all players on the local creative scene, including salons, photographers, independent hair stylists, and makeup artist and clothing boutiques.

“It’s still in the early days, but it is exciting that our local fashion community could develop into a local fashion industry.  We have so many talented young people in our community and SAC’s support is going to help them explore their full potential.  We can’t think of a better partner to help us continue pushing this community forward,” added Hudson.

OFW is currently accepting designer applications for the August 17-22 season.  Aspiring fashion designers can apply at www.omahafashionweek.com/designer.  The designer lineup will be announced at the end of April and tickets for next season go on sale June 1.

About Omaha Fashion Week:
On the inside, Omaha Fashion Week is a talent incubator that seamlessly connects designers, stylists, photographers, artists and models through nurturing platforms and engaging opportunities.  ON the outside, Omaha Fashion Week is the Midwest’s premier fashion event; spotlighting fashion innovations and celebrating creative excellence.  Learn more at www.omahafashionweek.com.

About SAC Federal Credit Union:
SAC Federal Credit Union is locally owned by its members and recognized for its community involvement. Motivated by member service rather than profit, the credit union’s focus is on providing safety, soundness and convenience to its membership. SAC FCU is a financial partner for life, helping members with banking, financial planning, home buying, investing, education and retirement planning, commercial banking services and more. Begin the journey to better banking today: sacfcu.com