A- A+

What You Wear Matters: A Startup Success Story

Lidgett in DSM USA

March 14, 2019

What You Wear Matters

What we wear matters—it presents us to the world, it gives us confidence, it provides us a shield, it prepares us for our day and it absolutely has the power to help make our dreams come true. That’s why I created Lidgett, a clothing line designed for women and inspired by their ambitions.

I have always believed in the power of clothing. I didn’t fully understand that power as a child, but I knew it existed when I would watch my mother command a room based on what she was wearing or be at complete peace while she was wearing her navy and white stripes on a boat at the lake.

As an adult, I can now see that she was mirroring her emotions and her state of mind with what she was wearing. Her clothing was speaking for her before she even said a word. It can welcome people or turn people away. It can show respect or disdain. It can exude confidence or fear. And during times in my life where I have felt out of control or struggling to figure out who I was, clothing has always allowed me to be whoever I wanted to be, even if I was just faking it until I made it. It gave me courage when I walked into my first job. It gave me strength when I felt powerless. It told a story when I didn't have a voice. All of these reasons are why I believe to my core that clothing should be used as a tool to help you achieve your dreams.

Kate B. Wagner Lidgett

Making Clothes to Represent

I got to a point where I wasn’t finding the clothing that represented me, and I knew I couldn’t be the only one that felt that way. I started researching how to start a clothing line and quickly lined up a manufacturer that was willing to work with a new designer. I then received a small business loan from the Iowa Center to help get me started. If I’m being honest, I will admit that I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting myself into when I started. I had no formal training in apparel design, but I knew that I was passionate about the problems I was trying to solve and willing to work hard, show up, be coachable, have a positive attitude - and all of these things require zero talent but play a large role in a startup company.   

Lidgett Summer Collection

After a year of hard work, I am so proud and in love with the first Lidgett summer line. I worked directly with a local artist, Jenna Brownlee, to add some her of stunning prints to the clothing that will appear in the summer collection. Jenna and I collaborated extensively on all of these prints and you won't find them anywhere else in the world. They are charming, exquisite, and one of a kind, just like the women that will be wearing them.

Looking for tools to help grow your startup or small business? Visit the Small Business Resources Hub to find the information you need or sign up for Mentor Connection to build relationships with a trusted group of mentors.

Kate B. Wagner

Kate B. Wagner is the founder and designer of Lidgett, a clothing line designed for women and inspired by their ambitions. She started her career in Des Moines as the executive assistant to the CEO at Dwolla and then COO of Adore Your Walls. Kate is a wife, mother of 2 boys, and avid collector of navy and white striped shirts.