Ugly Apparel was started by Kelly Meissner in the summer of 2013. Kelly is a graduate of the University of the Arts with a BFA in Illustration. While in college, Kelly was trained as a tattoo artist and even opened her own shop in her senior year of college. Watch the incubator summary video here: https://vimeo.com/99141586.
To learn more about Ugly Apparel, visit www.gottagetugly.com
After college, she began designing images for print on t-shirts and other apparel on a freelance basis. The more that she became involved with designing prints for clothing, the more she began to experiment with new and different ways to design. She combined her tattoo experience and her experience designing apparel to work with printers in developing a way to print designs that mimic the way a tattoo enhances the human form.
With funding from the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at the University of the Arts and Wells Fargo, she created Ugly Apparel. She used the funds to create a cohesive branding campaign develop and a series of prototypes. After developing her brand, she executed a series of photo shoots to bring Ugly Apparel to life.
Her original plan was to produce products on a wholesale basis, developing partnerships with retail establishments who would sell to consumers. Ugly Apparel’s branding campaign was so well received by individual consumers, that she had to adjust her plan in order to meet an overwhelming demand for individual sales.
To do so, Kelly had to find a new method of manufacturing which would be economical on a smaller production scale. She was able to find local manufacturers in Philadelphia who are able to meet her production needs.
Kelly is now working to develop her ecommerce platform. She will be launching a Kickstarter campaign at the end of the summer in 2014 in order to facilitate the pivot in Ugly Apparel’s business plan.
To view Kelly Meissner’s personal Illustration work, visit www.kellymeissner.com.