Off the Rack

Off the Rack: A Marketplace for Young Fashion Entrepreneurs

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 she knows the struggle of gaining exposure 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. The Off the Rack marketplace events are currently hosted on the University of Utah campus, and Gurung hopes to grow and also host events off campus.

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

Off the Rack

An Off the Rack event at Lassonde Studios.

By being part of the local fashion community, Gurung saw an increase in young fashion entrepreneurs who were starting their own creative businesses. As she noticed the increase, she saw an opportunity to start Off the Rack.

Gurung has taken advantage of a variety of resources at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute including the Company Launch program, to grow Off the Rack and other startups.

Off the Rack’s overall purpose 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, provide a platform and an opportunity for them to gain recognition for their creative artwork, and create a community where they can learn, be inspired, and encouraged by one another.

“We have plenty of talent, skills, and determination, but not enough of a platform to showcase that,” 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 businesses accountable if they are not making efforts and taking action toward implementing sustainable policies in their business operations.”

Young student entrepreneurs have a high risk of experiencing the effects of unsustainable business policies, Gurung said. She wants to help them use their power to change trends that align with sustainability.

Watch for upcoming Off the Rack events by visiting the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute events calendar: lassonde.utah.edu/calendar.

A student vendor at a recent Off the Rack event.

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