Off the Rack: Marketplace for young fashion entrepreneurs

Originally posted on Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.

Susma Gurung is turning her frustration into a business opportunity in the fashion industry.

The marketing student at the University of Utah is a fashion entrepreneur and knows the struggle of gaining publicity and selling something new.

To help herself and many young fashion entrepreneurs like her, Gurung created Off the Rack, a marketplace where they can gather to sell their products and promote themselves. Off the Rack marketplace events are currently held on the University of Utah campus, and Gurung hopes to grow to host off-campus events.

Three women smile for the camera at the Off The Rack event.

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

Susma Gurung (center), founder of Off the Rack, and two friends at the event.

“Off the Rack is something I see growing outside of Utah,” Gurung said. “As a founder, my goal is to plant my roots in Salt Lake City, but also to have the courage to take it and build a community of young strong fashion entrepreneurs wherever I go.”

Being part of the local fashion community, Gurung has seen an increase in the number of young fashion entrepreneurs starting their own creative businesses. As she noticed the increase, she saw an opportunity to start Off the Rack.

Gurung has taken advantage of various resources at the Lassonda Institute for Entrepreneurs, including the startup program, to grow Off the Rack and other startups.

The overall purpose of Off the Rack is to encourage people to shop sustainably and ethically, while supporting young fashion entrepreneurs in our community. Gurung also wants to amplify the voices of young fashion entrepreneurs and their creativity, give them a platform and opportunity to gain recognition for their creative artwork, and create a community where they can learn, be inspired and encouraged by each other.The student smiles at the camera on himself "don't panic" T-shirt, with tables for the clothes he sells on the tables in the background.

“We have a lot of talent, skills and determination, but we don’t have enough of a platform to showcase it,” Gurung said, and she hopes Off the Rack will change that.

“The goal is not to make things perfect,” she said. “The goal is to hold companies accountable if they don’t make efforts and take action to implement sustainable policies in their business.”

Young student entrepreneurs are at high risk of experiencing the effects of unsustainable business policies, Gurung said. He wants to help them use their power to change trends that are in line with sustainability.

Stay tuned for upcoming Off the Rack events by visiting the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute events calendar:

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