Lorain entrepreneurs hold first fashion show, brand experience

Mark A. Carlson

Local clothing brands are coming together to celebrate entrepreneurship.

Fit For You 319 is an athleisure and active wear clothing brand owned by Elyria native Whitney Kennard.

“I launched the clothing portion after I gave birth to my daughter and was struggling to love my new body,” she said. “I was a little self-conscious about wearing certain things and felt comfortable in athleisure so I wanted to create clothing that worked for me now.”

Event curator and FitForYou 319 owner Whitney Kennard and her daughter pose at Fashion Show and Brand Experience (Dominic Price — FIRSTXXIV Media Group)

Kennard, 28, says the brand is more than clothing.

“We’re designed for the multi-functional woman,” she said. “I’m very passionate about financial wealth and literacy, so we will be launching a finance counterpart very soon.”

Fit For You 319 celebrated a one-year anniversary with a multi-brand fashion show and shopping experience.

The event was held on Dec. 4 at 2428 Elyria Ave in Lorain.

Tickets cost $11 presale.

The celebration included a runway show, shopping, networking, and music along with free food and drinks.

The show was hosted by local personality Tey Oncé and DJ Trap.

Kennard said she wanted to put a spin on the traditional pop-up shop.

Fit For You 319 celebrated their one-year anniversary with fashion show and shopping experience in Lorain. (Dominic Price — FIRSTXXIV Media Group)

“Typically pop-up shops have vendors and bring in shoppers, but I wanted to do something a little bit different,” she said.

She said she wanted to help celebrate other black-owned businesses.

“I wanted to pull in other businesses who were launching or already established,” Kennard said “It’s a good way to also celebrate other businesses as well.”

The four brands included in the fashion show were Fit For You, Beauty in a Bundle and Sun Rae’s Boutique.

In addition to the fashion show, local vendors advertised their business and products.

Diamond Jones, owner of clothing store Designs by Diamond, says she’s fortunate for the opportunity.

“We just opened this past summer so we’re a brand new business,” she said. “This is our first pop-up shop and I’m thankful that Whitney allowed us to participate.”

Jones says the pandemic has encouraged her to begin a business.

“The pandemic pushed me to take a leap of faith and take a chance on myself,” she said. “I’m very grateful that we’ve been thriving despite the pandemic.”

Other local vendors included Sun Rae’s Boutique, Sugar for Brains, Hair/Skin Appétit LLC and Beauty in a Bundle.

Kennard says she looks forward to hosting more events.

“This is just the beginning,” she said. “I’m hoping this will be an annual event in addition to the other events I have coming next summer.”

For more information, visit fitforyou319.com.

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