Artwear Designs takes artwork from emerging artists and gives them exposure by screen printing the art on affordable, American-made clothing. Lisa Marie Myers, the artistic director and brand manager for Artwear Designs, explains that as an artist herself, she struggled to find ways to sell or display her art. Artwear was created as a feel-good product to benefit both young art consumers (who see supporting the arts as “exclusive and expensive,” according to Myers) and artists, who receive 20% of the total profits. The clothing include crop tops, t-shirts and tank tops with artwork from artists across the United States. Artwear currently has more than 13,000 followers on social media and has met 27% of its $10,000 goal in an Indiegogo campaign (with two weeks left). A future vision includes expanding the portfolio of artists in the line and adding new clothing styles.
During the expo, potential investors and established entrepreneurs visited with the founders to discuss their businesses. Many of the attendees purchased products or engaged the founders in deep conversation, some of them trading information across opposing tracks. At the Betty’s Better Breads booth, I overheard a spectator from the scientific comment on the tastiness of Betty’s GFDF pound cake. He said he was familiar with current clinical trials involving drugs for Celiac disease, and he thought Betty’s products could help those patients adapt to their condition.
That moment was a good reminder that the most promising young startups are the ones committed to solving a problem for someone else. We’ll see if these four new ideas can be the next in town to do just that.