Relaunching in Atlanta with Megan Huntz


Megan Huntz, a well respected fashion designer,  is also a key figure of the makers' renaissance that is quickly taking Atlanta, Georgia by storm.  An Atlanta native, Megan decided to "stop being a consumer and start being a creator." She set out to become a fashion designer and took an unusual approach. Instead of traditional fashion, she chose to study Industrial Design at the prestigious Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. "Pratt gave me a technical background and taught me to think like a designer."  Following her time at Pratt she moved to Milan, Italy to get a Masters in Fashion Design.  "I learned how to make clothes in Italy.  Italians know how to buy clothes, they focus on better clothes that fit well."

Five years ago she took a massive risk and moved back to Atlanta to launch her locally made and locally sourced clothing line.  As if literally starting over and a local focus were not enough, Megan also chose to not design specifically for the Atlanta market but for a more global, nomadic market.  This approach was completely counter cultural for the industry but deeply aligned with Megan's values and desire to see a return to quality over quantity.

She's five years into her Atlanta launch and is seeing success in so many areas.  She has ongoing relationships with those who produce her goods locally and can easily see how her success translates into their success.  Megan has also built a loyal following of her clothing which is distributed in local shops, online and oftentimes directly from her studio/showroom.

She attributes her success to a few key actions:

1.  She enlisted friends and family to help with the areas that she was weak in. She willingly admits that although she is business savy that math and accounting isn't her passion so she's outsourced those areas so she can focus on her strengths.
2.  She learned to leverage her talents. Because she diversified her studies she was able to earn a living as a freelance designer for the first few years while she launched her fashion line.  Not only was this good for her finances but also helped her to network with people all over the city.
3.  She sold her clothing to her network who had a vested interest in her business success.  Those in her network not only began to purchase her clothing but also provided her with much needed ongoing support.

"There were many days when I simply wanted to quit.  I was tired and nothing I was doing seemed to work.  My friends would not let me quit, though.  They would tell me 'You can't stop making beautiful things.'"  She attributes her network of friends and family with helping her stick it out through the lean years until the recognition and attention caught up with her unique approach to fashion.

Megan has now become a key figure in the creative movement occurring in Atlanta, Georgia, which is made of up many visionaries who developed their own businesses simultaneously and are now leading companies and movements around the city.  She has a deep desire to see others' succeed and does anything she can to support creatives as she was supported.  She stresses the need for support but also warns creatives, "Don't listen to others' ideas too much.  Make sure that you listen to your own heart.  You know your ideas and dreams and you never know where others are coming from."  She has balanced this approach in her own life and everyone who owns a piece of her collection has greatly benefitted from this balance of dependence and independence.

Be sure to check out Megan's designs at Megan

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all photos by Jack Fussell