Charity chicago

Local Kickstarter Spotlight - Can you Support?

Monday, August 17, 2015 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Hey everyone!

It's Jen here, Editor in chief here at It's August. Summer is almost over. It's a bittersweet moment, but back to school is so exciting for me. This month is also exciting as I have been working with a new project that I would like to share with you.  As some of you may know, outside of leading the staff here at Halfstack, I am also a teacher and run a small kidswear brand: Bella + Sophia is inspired by my two daughters and gives a portion of each of the sales back to a youth charity. 

I don't share too much personal stuff here on the blog because I am often inspired to share the personal journeys of all the amazing people we interview. This week though, I wanted to share a bit about what I am working on and my story with the August Letter from the editor. As we kick into gear for "Back to school" our writers will be focusing on "Summers last Hurrah" as well as the ideas of reminiscing on what it was like to head back to school during their youth. Some of our writers are college students and are actually heading back to school and their articles may feature how they're prepping.

For me, a lot of emotions come to mind when I think of being young and going back to school. Some of my hardest years were during high school and I had to fight hard to graduate.  I've hinted at the hardships I faced growing up in some of my articles, but I never shared the full story. Today, I'm giving you a peek into my past while bearing my soul in hopes that you can help me share my story. 

Check out the video below to learn more about me and about this project I am trying to bring to life. I won't be leaving Halfstack behind if this grows the way I hope. I'm a serial entrepreneur at heart and this will just give me another opportunity to do something creative and amazing, while helping others in the process.

The hardships I faced growing up, helped set the tone for my purpose in life. While, yes I am a creative and I design and write my true calling is to help others and I hope to do so with the Bella+Sophia clothing line.

Bella + Sophia is a modern line of childrenswear dedicated to high quality, and comfort design. The brand is based out of Chicagoland area and focuses on sustainable and local sourcing as well as making a difference in the community. We specialize in one of a kind textile designs, fun and comfy clothing that kids can grow in and giving back to our community. The brand is designed by me and inspired by my two daughters Bella & Sophia.

At the heart of the business is a genuine desire to educate, reform & inspire the youth from underserved communities. The violence & heart ache I saw as a child affected the decisions I have made as an adult and now parent to do better and make the world better for my girls. Through hard work and persistence we can truly change the world and we must start with the children. With this idea in place, a portion of the sales of each garment goes back to the community through local non-profit organizations catering to the underserved, minority and at risk youth.

I launched this line over a year ago with the intent of doing what I loved – designing and sewing garments for my daughters while helping others in the process. 8 Months ago, I changed my plan –instead of sewing one offs and making small donations as I could from my sales through my online shop, I knew I wanted to do something bigger. So, I began working towards wholesaling and now have teamed up with a small batch manufacturer that specializes in working with indie designers like me.

By working with a US based manufacturer, I will be able to help grow Bella+Sophia in a scalable manner and make a larger impact in terms of the charities I work with as well as helping local small businesses provide jobs right here in the states.

This manufacturing opportunity is where Kickstarter comes into play. Prior to now, I was designing, pattern making, sewing and fulfilling orders on my own. That meant I was only able to make so many garments. Working with a manufacturer allows me to increase our runs, as well as increase our potential sales and in turn our donations. This kickstarter campaign will help me cover the costs of production. I’ve already invested my personal savings into getting this brand to this point. but I need additional funding to get through this last hurdle in growing Bella+Sophia clothing.

The Kickstarter donations will help to secure a full production run (including fabric, notions, labeling, and production labor), allow me to update some prototyping machinery in my studio, attend key trade shows to get our brand in front of buyers, execute an ecommerce marketing campaign to share our story and help us finalize an update to my website in order to get us situated to begin taking wholesale orders.

The end goal is an established brand that hopes to empower and inspire young people and make a difference in my community. While I may be a business with hopes for growth and success, there is so much more to what I do in terms of the community involvement and opportunity for industry growth in the Chicagoland area and potentially further.

Illinois was and still is a proud manufacturing hub and I hope to continue to help it to thrive and eventually make a national impact with Bella+Sophia Clothing by creating future jobs, an internship program for kids who were like me, and of course through giving to the charities we work with and eventually adding more to our charity roster.

“People are capable at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of [. . .] And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”. This quote from the alchemist has kept me focused and despite the ups and downs that life throws at me, I have found that with persistence and perseverance anything is possible. Please, help me bring this dream to reality.

This campaign will run until September 12th. Once successfully funded, production is scheduled to begin towards the end of September. The goal is to get product towards the end of October, to early November in order to be shipped just in time for the holidays!

Thank you for your kindness, generosity and your support in helping me create a better tomorrow! You can see our past collections at: and you can donate here:

You Might Also Like



Contact Form