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Question added to topic Starting a BusinessJuly 21, 2008

I have a startup clothing company that could be much larger if it were a joint venture with another company with more experience and know-how than I have. How do I make appointments to discuss this with name-brand companies?

How do a reach a person with decision-making authority at companies such as Phat farm, Guess or Nike?
First off, congrats on your new venture! Clothing is a very lucrative business to be in, especially if you have a fabulous line that can be marketed to the same demographic segments that major brands such as Nike appeal to.

That said--I have to play devil's advocate here and ask a few obvious questions:

  • Why would Nike want to talk to you?

  • Are your offerings a great fit for Phat farm, Guess, etc?

  • Why would any major brand want to partner with a fledgling firm that has no track record?


  • If you can come up with viable answers to all of these, and if you've invested in professional renderings of your line, along with samples and other professionally developed marketing materials, then go for it!

    To get started, visit their websites and do some research. All these companies may have info posted online about how to approach them with new ideas. If not, you can still get the phone numbers of the main headquarters. Call and ask to speak to the VP of design and/or the VP of marketing.

    Even if you can't get through to the people you want, you should be able to speak to someone there who can tell you what the process is, or an address where you can send your materials. It's important for you to get the lowdown on how to do this correctly, as I suspect all these firms may require legal representation or have other formalities in place when discussing new concepts, products and partnerships.

    These processes are created to protect your ideas as well as future claims against them, so it's important that you follow their directives. In addition, before you try to set any appointments, do whatever due diligence is needed to protect your copyright/ownership of your line(s), design, products, etc.

    Best of luck!
    Pattie Simone

    As president of Pomona, N.Y.-based marketing-advantage and founder of WomenCentric, Pattie Simone empowers ambitious women, companies and entrepreneurs worldwide, sharing smart new media, client engagement, entrepreneurial and communications expertise as a techpreneur, consultant, speaker and video blogger.

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