Starting and running a business is never easy: you have to constantly be prepared for the unexpected. Because, at any moment, things can change drastically. That was proven over and over during the pandemic. But, even without a pandemic, businesses are subject to constant turmoil. Fortunately, for Arlene Kaye Wasserman, the founder and owner of Fashion Lab NY, preparation and pivoting have always been part of her DNA.
In 2015, a full year before she launched her business, she reached out to the Women’s Business Center at Canisius College (WBC) and signed up for the Launch Program to start the learning process. “I met others like me who were thinking about starting their own businesses. The program touched on the things I needed to do to start,” Arlene said. “I learned what I didn’t even know I needed to learn.”
After Launch, Arlene signed up for the WBC’s Grow Program, which forced her to take action. As a master planner, Arlene said she would probably still be planning her business if she hadn’t gone through the WBC programs. It also provided her with a network of other women entrepreneurs and accountability partners, many of whom she still connects with on a regular basis.
Fashion Lab NY is a sewing and fashion design studio that provides skill-based programs that teach sewing, fashion design and fiber arts to children ages eight and up, teens and adults. They offer a variety of scheduled Sewing Labs, Specialty Workshops, Fashion Camps, Birthday Parties and Girl Scout Workshops, as well as custom-designed programs. They create a laboratory where students feel comfortable exploring their creativity while gaining the skills to be a fashion designer. “Learning the life-long skill of sewing teaches so much more – our students of all ages gain confidence, learn patience and practice problem solving,” Arlene said.