Red Hot Entrepreneurs 2014

Leaders of the pack!

Co-Founders, Dapper D Fashions

For Vanna and Rasha Pecoraro, crowdsourcing presented a community-based (and fast!) way to jumpstart their business, Dapper D Fashions. The Pacific Northwest-based clothier was successfully funded on Kickstarter last June, and in its three months of existence has appeared in the Portland Mercury, Seattle Gay News and other media outlets. With the tagline ″be brave, be authentic, be you,″ the Pecoraros (who married in 2010 and have a baby daughter) design LGBT-focused shirts, hoodies and accessories ″for the dapper tomboy in each of us.″ Their relaxed-fit tops come in androgynous tones that would blend well with any customer´s existing wardrobe, while their trucker hat features the company´s ″d″ logo. ″We wanted to fill in the gaps for women who didn´t want to be held to society´s norms about fashion, and to cater to the women who shop in the men´s department but needed a clothing line to call their own,″ says Rasha. Before they achieved their funding goal with the help of online backers, they studied menswear design, asked questions, and researched the fashion business—steps that they suggest for their fellow entrepreneurs. Adds Vanna, ″Don´t forget to take a day off to regroup and refresh.″

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