Source4Style was created in direct reaction to inefficiencies within the fashion world, offering an online platform to connect designers with small and medium-sized artisan suppliers internationally. Founder Benita Singh called on her experience on both ends of the production chain to create a business that will break down models of exclusivity and disrupt the industry.
“There is a shift in mindset that needs to be facilitated, and we need to be the one to do it.”
Benita Singh is a leader in the movement to connect artisans to the global marketplace. During her undergraduate studies at Yale, Benita founded Mercado Global with fellow classmate Ruth Degolia, where she served as President until 2006. Today, Benita serves as the CEO and Co-Founder of Source4Style, an innovative online platform that connects designers to a global network of artisan suppliers. “We created Source4Style in direct response to something we heard the industry needed,” Benita notes, referring to the frustration many designers voiced at the inefficiencies present in the current sourcing process. “Our vision is to take what is currently happening offline at tradeshows—what is currently excluding a great portion of the market—and bring it online, make it more egalitarian, and in doing so create a free marketing platform for suppliers to showcase year round.”
The design of the Source4Style platform reflects its founder’s intimate knowledge of the fashion industry and the needs of designers during the sourcing process. “There is this craving for more innovative sustainable materials that [designers] are not finding in the trade shows.” Because Source4Style features the work of SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) suppliers, designers have an opportunity to find unique materials that are traditionally excluded from physical trade shows by the high cost of attendance. Benita hopes that by showcasing SME suppliers alongside larger suppliers there will be an increased chance that these small artisans are discovered by well-known designers who would otherwise have no avenue to discover their work. “My goal is for all of the suppliers on source4style to be able to say that it has increased their sales, and that they can attribute increased revenues to our platform."
The Source4Style network spans 76 countries for designers and 27 for suppliers, making it a portal for discovering cosmopolitan trends and global inspiration. “We are definitely a new model and we are trying to change the way the industry is currently working”, Benita notes as she describes the challenges she faces as an industry disrupter. “There is a shift in mindset that needs to be facilitated, and we need to be the one to do it.”