Year in Review: 10 Awesome Things that Happened in 2013

2013 was a stellar year on many fronts. While the economy is still very much in recovery mode, many of Pattern’s members have seen their businesses grow and expand. With the growing popularity of the #buylocal sentiment, it’s not hard too see how the many makers and solo-preneurs who make up a significant part of our membership have done well in 2013. On the retail front as well, we’ve seen some great new additions to the local apparel shopping landscape for both men and women. As a whole, it’s apparent that Indianapolis is starting to pay more attention to fashion, be it increased coverage in local media, an uptick in fashion-centric events, Pattern co-founders Ben and Janneane Blevins opening a newsstand in Broad Ripple specializing in fashion and design publications or the attention that Pattern is receiving from civic and business leaders who are starting to see ways in which Indy can get a piece of the multi-billion dollar fashion industry.

Organizationally, we’ve had a number of exciting milestones, partnerships and events take place in 2013 that are worth recognizing and celebrating.

Here, in no particular order, are my Top 10:

10. In March, we partnered with the Carmel Symphony Orchestra & Fresh Fettle to co-host a fashion design competition based on the avant-rockstar style of internationally renowned organist Cameron Carpenter. The winner of the competition was Anna Ward, who had no background in fashion design, but was able to work with a seamstress to create the winning design. Anna is currently enrolled at Art Institute of Indianapolis in the Fashion Design program.

9. IndyChamber featured Pattern in their publication in June. Kristian Andersen, who was interviewed for the story, said, “Now would be a great time for the city and state, both private and public, to recognize that this is something we can own, something we can be excellent at. It could be a powerful driver of our city’s identity.” And past president of Indianapolis Downtown Inc, Tamara Zahn added, “Individuals, organizations and movements like Pattern are transforming Indianapolis from a good city to a great city. Pattern members are committed to making Indianapolis an even better place. I am amazed at the extraordinary things that extraordinary people are doing here in Indianapolis.” I second those sentiments!

8. Pattern Magazine was picked up for national and international distribution! Across the pond, readers are buying copies of Pattern in Sao Paolo, Hong Kong, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Canada and a few other places. Heading into our third year as a publication, our goal for 2014 is to start paying the editorial team and the contributors. To that end, please help us by subscribing or buying an ad in the next issue! The spring 2014 issue will be launching mid-March. Our theme is Design and we’re featuring a small cross section of local design talent. Can’t wait!

7. In August, we partnered with our friends at Verge and flew in guest speakers Maddy Maxey and Mari Kussman from NYC to talk about fashion tech. I feel fairly confident saying that this was the first time that Indianapolis hosted an event about this subject matter, but certainly not the last, especially if the instigator of this event, Janneane Blevins, has anything to say about it! We see all kinds of potential for design innovation in Indy at the intersection of fashion and tech and you’ll be hearing a lot more from us on the subject.

6. We hosted the 2nd Annual Pattern Lounge at Yelp’s Totally Bazaar at the Old City Hall. It was amazing! I don’t have official numbers yet, but I hear that all the vendors did very well with sales. Love hearing that!

5. As an organization that functions solely with the help of volunteers, I’ve been absolutely thrilled at the calibre of folks who have availed themselves to us and at their dedication and excitement for helping us in our mission of empowering the local fashion community to grow, connect and thrive. I am particularly delighted to introduce Alicia Decker, who will be leading our event team in 2014! Next Year’s event schedule is coming together as I write this and we have some pretty exciting things in the works! And I would be remiss to not give, Pattern’s PR & Marketing Director and my right hand woman, Maria Dickman a massive shout-out. You’re the wind beneath my wings, Maria! (Too much? okay, okay! Thanks for being a believer!)

4. On meetup.com, our membership has reached 900 people! Our goal for 2013 was to have 750 members, so we feel pretty good about surpassing that goal! If you’re not yet registered on meetup.com, please consider doing so! There is no cost and very few emails to bother you. And, it’s the best way to know when registration for our  events open. Not to trying to sneak this by you, but starting with 2014, we will start charging a $5 fee to attend the meetups. We have some big plans for 2014, and need a bit more $$ to pull them off (but thanks to SunKing, the beer is still free!) If you’re interested in sponsoring a meetup, please email info@patternindy.com!

3. This summer we hosted a month long pop-up co-working space, called The Bindery, at the Harrison Center for the Arts. Over 300 people utilized the space by either coming to work there or by participating in one of 12 lunchtime workshops that we hosted. Our “live feasibility” has us fully convinced that it is time for Indianapolis to have a permanent space for its makers and creatives. Nothing official yet, but wheels are in motion to make that happen. 2014 might just be the year that we get our very own Makerspace!

2. So NASA emailed us about doing an event together. Yep. THE NASA. In April, while the Destination Station exhibit will be in town, we’re partnering with NASA for a meetup featuring wearable technology. If the rumors are true, there might be some Google Glass developers in attendance, as well…

1. Our 3rd Annual Trend Report with Fran Yoshioka was a wonderful success with over 70 people in attendance. Sponsors Indiana Design Center, Santarossa Tile and Kitchens by Design made it possible for students to attend for free. Per popular demand, we’re looking to bring back Fran this spring!

Those are just a few of this year’s highlights! A huge debt of gratitude to our sponsors and community partners, IndyChamber, CICF, KA+A, SmallBox, SunKing, Harrison Center for the Arts and CityWay. And a hearty “thank you” to each and every one of you who have actively engaged in our community and in helping make Indianapolis a fantastic place to live, work and play! Here’s to an amazing 2014!

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