Meet Agni

Kelly Hogaboom of Bespoke Hogaboom, late 2022

I am a nonbinary, vegan designer and business mentor and teacher.

I am a Buddhist, partner, parent, cinephile and Creative living and working in Aberdeen, Washington, USA.

My work imbues the highest excellence in terms of fit, construction, positive environmental impact, and personal expression!

You can watch my design and construction techniques on Instagram; I also host regular livestream sew-alongs and stitch and bitch sessions.

People think of me as a garment designer, but I am even more valuable as a mentor to ethical Creatives. If that’s you – if you’re a Creative, and if you’re thinking of professionalizing – I hope you take time to read further.

I would not have a business today, had I not received business education and mentorship.

Backstory: I was told repeatedly “no one” could afford or pay for custom clothing. It just wasn’t practical! How could my living-wage garments made to order, compete with the exploitive manufacture and low prices of Walmart, GAP, Adidas, et al?

And yet in two short years since my launch I was thriving.

I had generated a full calendar and a reputation for excellence. I was filling my schedule with just a post on Instagram or an email. In fact in early 2019 I had so much work I had to raise prices (again!) and – when that didn’t stem the flow – I created a waitlist because I couldn’t keep up with demand.

My business thrives without sacrificing quality or customer care, without paid partnerships or corporate affliateships, and without mass manufacture techniques or outsourcing. Most my clients are working-class. They save up for my good work (or use my interest-free payment plans), and they deliver consistent five-star reviews.

As skilled as I am at design and sewing, I could never have built this entrepreneurship without business education.

Through my business education I unlocked the secrets to customer care – relating to clients, communicating with them, and treating them well. I stepped through taking my business from under-the-table to legitimate and licensed. I made friends with the world of Finance – spreadsheets, Cash Flow projections – yes, even taxes! A business education led me through market research, social media savvy strategies, Mission and Value statements, operations management, and drafting a formal business plan (for lenders, investors, and as a lodestar for further growth).

The best part about all of this is, every day I learn something new, and every day I’m as fired up as I was on Day One!

I am having the time of my life as an ethical, Creative entrepreneur. I’ve felt more freedom, joy, and creative flux than at any other time in my life.

In this process, I discovered something else: I love creative business-building. And I’m good at it. During my intense growth period of 2019 I came to see I wanted to pass on what I’d so clearly benefited from: professional help. I’ve been mentoring and teaching since 2020 and it’s been delightful! I’ve helped Creatives start their business, quit their day jobs, start making money, regain artistic control, and start enjoying customer-client relationships.

My track record speaks for itself.

Sign up for my emails – and let’s talk about where to go next!

I am a Triple Bottom Line business (3BL)

This means all of my business strategies and aims are honed through the lenses of Profit, People, and the Planet. Long gone are the days where only the bottom line matters. If I build a business that relies on exploitation, waste, and a shoddy supply chain – then I am building a poor excuse for a business.

I bring this ethos to my consultancy, as well. In terms of the People aspect of a Triple Bottom Line, I credit all artists, fabric designers, and photographers on my Instagram, Facebook, and web properties. I honor my clients' privacy, never identifying them by name unless they agree to my request to do so.

My web communities are moderated through an anti-racist, LGBTQ+ inclusive, total liberationist ethos.

My web properties reside on carbon neutral hosting. My mailing materials are made from recycled materials that are in turn recyclable (and purchased from a family-owned, USA company). My sewing studio has a 2% waste rate (as compared to fast fashion’s 15%+). I do not use animal products for both ethical and environmental considerations, and I focus on the implementation of biodegradable staples, next-stop landfill fabrics, and upcycled materials.

Let Love In, chainstitch coverall by Kelly Hogaboom of Bespoke Hogaboom