YABETTE BRINGS THE SWANK

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San Francisco is known for its wide-ranging assortment of creative start-ups, from funky retail shops to online purveyors, upcycled reused material creations to brand new products, solo ventures to collaborative team efforts. But rarely does a single entrepreneur manage to do it all. For Yabette Swank of SwanketySwank, she’s managed to explore every avenue of business ownership, with her latest venture building on her many years of experience. 

When Yabette first came to San Francisco she was an audio engineer, but the unrelenting pace of studio work led her to her first entrepreneurial effort: sewing bags that became popular enough for her to justify quitting her day job and opening a retail shop. “I started making bags that were interesting and unique but also fully functional for mamas in the city like me,” Yabette explained. She provided space for other creative types to sell their wares, building up a local artist community that supported one another’s work. After taking a class in business planning at Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center in San Francisco, Yabette reevaluated her plan and has now launched an online shop where she sells her latest creations: sustainable clothing for men and women.

Yabette has a close network of friends who have helped her launch new ventures, but wishes that support and loans were more readily available to budding women entrepreneurs. “I would love access to getting funding and upscaling in an easier way,” Yabette shared, “as an artist I don’t always meet a bank’s criteria,” a problem she believes that many women, particularly creative-types, face on the financial front. Yabette laments this obstacle because it holds women back from sustaining their local economies. “When I get funding I’m putting that money into local seamstresses - I’m very much about fueling my local community.”

Yabette counts herself fortunate to have supported herself in San Francisco’s competitive economy all while switching things up and pursuing her passions. “Following my heart isn’t always the best business model," she confesses, "but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Check out Yabette’s latest designs, for women and men of all body types in styles ranging from casual to luxurious, at www.swanketyswank.com, where you can also click through to her kickstarter link to get in on the action!