Fortique: A digital boutique for your creative fortes

September 26, 2013

11:17 am

Fortique is the Etsy for event planners, photographers,  interior and graphic designers, and more. From emerging freelancers to established small businesses, members gets their own digital storefront that features their unique story, portfolio, client reviews and the option to contact them for your next wedding, corporate event or brand re-launch.

In planning to throwing an exquisite 30th birthday party for her sister, Stephanie Olvey, founder and CEO of Fortique, quickly realized that event planning was a cumbersome endeavor. All of the expensive event planning power players were at the top of her search results, and the the best, local freelance photographers and planners were hidden through recommendations and word-of-mouth. Finding quality, affordable event help was a conundrum.

JuwSXGi1X8yoSIWKCe8cNDjloo6Iudy0M9alXze-8Ys“We realized that these creative industries were fragmented [and] there was no sense of community,” explains Olvey. “Most [people] lack the budget necessary to position themselves effectively with consumers.” For one event, clients often need multiple resources like event planners, graphic designers and photographers. Fortique offers a one-stop shop to sift through a network of creatives to find the talent that fits your needs.

Many creative freelancers who have been seeking a sense of community to market their brand turned to unconventional platforms to serve as their storefront and portfolio. While Pinterest is traditionally used to sort and save your favorite ideas, many designers and illustrators are leveraging pins and boards as a way to brand themselves.

Now, with Fortique, members can have access to a marketing platform and a community of creative people to help them build their business. In less than a year, Fortique has seen their network of curated entrepreneurs grow, ultimately giving consumers a variety of quality, affordable options to choose from.

One client that began her freelance photography career on Fortique is now inundated with freelance opportunities and sees the potential to turn this into a full-time job. Olvey says that personal success stories like these drive her passion in this industry. “It is stressful to start marketing your skill set without a network. We help budding entrepreneurs build a following and pursue their dreams.”

TFGl3QzTaHENTs2B_A98eJdVz1j_xCPgl9Of-HwLv2w,r6ZSusbCer12qxxHxhY8pnXygdafo1Ld8iMu43lpr3AWhen it comes to planning a DIY Pinterest-worthy, hipster wedding, you are no longer at the mercy of your Google queries for local event planners and creative talent. Find yourself at Fortique.

Stay tuned to the latest updates and follow @Fortique on Twitter.


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Stephanie is Lead Designer and co-founder of Landmark, a navigation app for walking directions based on photos of buildings and landmarks. Stephanie was a guest at Y Combinator’s prestigious Female Founders Conference and was profiled in The Washington Post. Actively involved in the DC community, she is a co-producer of the DC Tech Meetup and is actively involved in encouraging technology education and mentorship for women. Follow her on Twitter @nguyenist.

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