It comes up again and again. Everyone, in general, likes the idea of Portland becoming—some way, some how—a bigger player in the nation's garment industry. And when groups of people convene to talk about it, as they have been with more frequency than ever (?) this year, a theme emerges. Apparel design students aren't coming out of schools with the business acumen needed to attempt a go at the tricky financial landscapes of independent design. And so, to help address this, Sharon Blair of Portland Sewing is launching what she claims is "the most comprehensive series of business of apparel classes in Oregon."

Offered as either individual classes on Saturdays for $52/class or $499/series, or as or as a six-week course for $235 or $279, from September to November of this year, the apparel business classes will include the following classes as part of the business program:
· Start an Apparel Business;
· Working with Production (Guest Speaker: Alyson Clair, Clair Vintage Inspired designer, Wilson Tennis Senior Apparel Developer, Nike Product Developer, Wilson Tennis/Nike);
· Costing & Pricing (Guest Speaker: Laura Tempesta, Innovation Senior Developer, Nike);
· Working with Boutiques (Guest Speaker: Celeste Sipes, Owner, Radish Underground);
· Merchandising (Guest Speaker: Tiffany Bean, Owner, Mabel & Zora);
· Contracting Basics for Apparel (Guest Speaker: Owen Schmidt, Attorney);
· Truth about Trade Shows (Guest Speaker: Jason Calderon, West Daily); and
· Create an Apparel Business Plan.

I've highlighted a few friendly names to make it sound sexier. Did it work? Because this is the part of fashion design that many students don't find as sexy as inspiration boards and materials selection, but it's necessary for even a chance at success, and there's a certain momentum in the air that suggests now's a good time to get serious. Classes begin September 13.