Sometimes all it takes is a couple of dope creatives to help elevate your style.

Personal styling service Stitch Fix launched Elevate back in October 2020 to promote a more diverse and equitable retail landscape for the next generation of entrepreneurs reflecting the audiences that they serve.

In its second year, Elevate grantees will receive a $25,000 cash grant, access to the brand’s Algorithms team, and personalized advisory support from leadership across the business. To top it all off, they will also be offered a mentorship session with the brand’s CEO Elizabeth Spaulding as well as the program’s partner, Harlem’s Fashion Row, CEO and founder Brandice Daniel.

With brands that are exciting and bold, as well as inclusive, sustainable, and versatile, this year’s Elevate recipients will share their stories while introducing their products to Stitch Fix’s pool of close to 4.2 million clients.

Recipients of this year’s program include the following brands:

  • Taylor Jay,
  • Megan Renee
  • Gracemade
  • Edas
  • BruceGlen
  • Besida

AfroTech had a chance to catch up with Renee Smith, the founder of women’s contemporary brand, Megan Smith, which uses deadstock fabric and holds little to no inventory to reduce waste. 

She opened up about what the program means to her, how it helps in her journey as a Black entrepreneur, and more.

Editorial Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

AfroTech: What does being a 2022 Elevate recipient mean to you?

Megan Smith: I’ve been following Stitch Fix for some time now, and I’m so grateful and excited to be a recipient of the Elevate grant and mentorship program this year.

It’s so validating and rewarding for my brand to be a part of Stitch Fix. It means we get to join all of the other amazing brands on the platform while also continuing our commitment to sustainability and we are completely overwhelmed by this amazing opportunity. 

AT: How will this help you in your journey as you elevate your brand?

MS: The Stitch Fix Elevate program provides mentoring and resources that have been a struggle for Black entrepreneurs like myself to obtain. The program also gives visibility to Black-owned brands that they otherwise would not be able to receive. This opportunity helps push Black-owned brands forward.

AT: What advice do you have for others who have similar aspirations as you?

MS: My biggest advice to others — while starting a business — is to accomplish one thing at a time and don’t try to be and do everything at once.

Breaking the building process down into steps is how you build momentum. I also recommend resisting the urge to wait for the perfect time and/or opportunity — start now. You don’t need a lot of money or resources to get started.