I knew that I wanted to stay at Penn this summer and take classes to lighten my course load during the regular school semester. However, I also wanted to supplement my summer coursework by doing research or interning somewhere near Philadelphia. Through an introduction from an MBA mentor, I was hired as a Business Development Intern with a fashion startup called Pragma Retail.
Pragma offers clothes for on-the-go women who travel frequently. The startup was formed when the company’s founder—a former consultant at Accenture—noticed the lack of stylish clothes that were designed for travelling. Her job required her to travel a lot, and she was tired of stepping off the plane and into a meeting with a wrinkled outfit and dealing with hotel irons that would burn her clothes. All of Pragma’s clothes are wrinkle-resistant and made with chemical-free, vegan textiles. The clothes are designed to be practical but stylish. Long-term, the company plans to expand into accessories, menswear, and children’s wear.
For this summer, Pragma’s goal—and the main project I was working on—was the development of a Kickstarter campaign that will be launched at the end of September to fund the first production run for the company’s three product lines. What’s cool about working at a startup is you get to learn and have a hand in many different things—it all just depends on what needs to be done on that particular day. Drawing, digital art, and painting have always been hobbies of mine, and my internship was a fun mix of graphic design and business development. I created the designs for Pragma’s main logo as well as the logos for each of their three individual product lines, and I’m excited to see my designs printed on the labels and tags of the clothes when Pragma launches its first run. I also learned to use a DSLR camera to take photos for their website and scripted and filmed the video for their Kickstarter page. In terms of the business side, I did a lot of benchmarking and research on crowdfunding campaigns for startups. I also accompanied the founder to strategy meetings with fashion designers (and got to try on some sample clothes that the designers made!). We also met with textile producers to discuss pricing and to select fabrics. Once my summer classes ended, I worked remotely from home in Colorado on building their new website.
Another great thing I enjoyed about my internship was having more female mentors to learn from. Pragma’s founder and the entire team were all females, and I enjoyed picking their brains about career development and their professional experiences. I really enjoyed my internship experience this summer and look forward to what’s in store with Pragma in the future!