Bow & Drape’s Shelly Madick on Building Trust and Relationships

How does a fashion start-up break into the long entrenched garment and fashion industry? Bow & Drape is accomplishing this through good solid business planning, strong relationships and of course, a gorgeous product.


Shelly Madick is Co-founder and COO at Bow & Drape. Bow & Drape is an online dress shop where women can design beautiful custom dresses and separates. Along with her partner, Aubrie Pagano, Bow & Drape was started in 2012 and has already shown significant growth and traction.

Shelly spoke with me recently about the operations side of a start-up. I asked her these 5 questions. Her experiences and best practices can be applied to any start-up and across many industries.

  1. As COO, tell us what you do for Bow & Drape.
  2. Bow & Drape was founded about a year ago and the fashion industry has been around forever. Tell me about the advantages and disadvantages of being new to a long existing industry.
  3. Talk to me about relationship building. As a new brand, how do you remove any perceived risk by your vendors or partners?
  4. Garment manufacturing is a male dominated industry. Is that a good thing, bad thing, or doesn’t matter to Bow & Drape (a female founded and run company)?
  5. For all the start-up founders listening to this interview, what lessons learned can you share with them?

If you want to learn more about Bow & Drape or want to see their beautiful fashions you can find them at

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About the author
Heather Boggini
Heather Boggini
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Heather's blog explores the start-up experience from her perspective as a mother, runner, cancer survivor and first time entrepreneur.


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