Balodana is the first only marketplace that is exclusively women’s made to measure fashions from around the world. Dana Todd founded Balodana in fall 2019 after many years in and out of the corporate world and entrepreneurship.
The idea for Balodana started when founder Dana Todd found herself frustrated with the retail shopping experience in America. Even at high-end stores, she noticed that garments didn’t fit her body or were made poorly. Boutiques were better, but often had shapeless garments that didn’t feel powerful or stylish. She found this to be a common complaint among her friends of all ages and body types, but it was particularly an issue for mature women and women who wore larger than a size 6.
Separately, reports emerged about the significant environmental damage being wrought by the fast fashion industry, which creates mountains of overproduction waste and chemical impacts to water and land. Not to mention, the labor practices of the garment industry frequently injure or even kill workers.
Then, Dana found a designer in Romania who manufactured original designs on a made-to-measure basis at a price competitive to most US department store clothing. She was hooked! She decided to build a marketplace that connects women with custom clothiers from around the world, in a setting that combines the convenience of Internet shopping but with the high-touch customer service of a posh retail store. She found more great designers and tailors and invited them to help “bring back the dressmaker” for American women. The resulting Balodana company brings together old-fashioned customer service and dressmaking skills, but with the best new technology to help support you better.
The Balodana website boasts that: “At our company, we believe the solution to modern-day clothing woes is custom built and made-to-measure clothing. We are disrupting fast fashion tactics and ethos. Skilled dressmakers are commonly found in countries all over the world where people have not forgotten the value of high-quality custom garments. There is a value placed on clothing that fits, and an expectation of investing in a relationship with a tailor or dressmaker. We aim to amplify that feeling and make it convenient for online shoppers who want support, style, choices and fit.”
According to the CEO:
“We are the only clothing marketplace that inspires and fits the unique bodies of women who want to master the art of the first impression, in an era in which consumers expect personalized experiences. Balodana helps women shop directly from worldwide tailors and designers, for thousands of custom fashions that are made precisely to their body measurements.”
Dana Todd, CEO
Todd spent 20+ years as a marketing executive and Internet technology entrepreneur, and she loves to wear clothes that are either class Nameic or creative. In her youth, she loved thrift shopping, vintage glamour and punk rock outfits. Hitting middle age created something of a fashion crisis for her: the styles for tech industry – and her body type – had changed rather dramatically.
Happily, custom clothing is helping to solve her problem, and she loves it so much she invented a whole new marketplace to share it with the world. Her goal is to help you find plenty of alternatives to “off the rack” clothing, in order to feel more confident and joyful about your style.
Nisha Katti, Marketing Specialist
Katti is multi-talented marketer and writer from Georgia. In her own words:
“I’ve always been a bit of an environmental nerd so when I found out how much water it takes to make a simple cotton t-shirt or how quickly consumers cycle through their clothing, I realized that I needed to be more responsible in my purchasing. I got interested in sustainable and ethical fashion in college and haven’t stopped being passionate about it since.
I’m so excited about the opportunity to fight against fast fashion, especially at a time when women are owning their impact on the environment and supporting companies who do the same. We all need to find our place in protecting our environment and mine is in the world of fashion”.
Lauren Freedman, Advisor
The President of The E-tailing Group, Lauren Freedman is an ecommerce pioneer who brings 25 years of consulting experience to technology companies, delivering thought leadership and go-to-market strategies for platforms and point solutions. She has also long supported top tier retailers, having piloted the first online mystery shopping survey that provided data for 20 years to retailers and established metrics for the industry at large. Her clients have included specialty retailers 1-800-flowers, abt, Aldo Shoes, Barneys New York, Zara, MoMA, Crate & Barrel, Lids, Ulta, Staples, Petco, Nebraska Furniture Mart and Sundance Catalog, along with recognized global brands from Under Armour, HP, Lenovo, Scholastic, Samsonite, Chanel Beauty, M&M’s and Lego to Burt’s Bees.
Natalee Rogers, Advisor
Natalee Rogers is an expert in patternmaking, technical clothing design and fashion technologies. She helps advise Balodana regarding patternmaking and scaling of clothing for different body types and needs. Most recently head patternmaker at Stitch Method, Natalee created and manipulated patterns using Gerber software to help the company manufacture patterns and samples for their clients’ collections of Womenswear, Athleticwear, Childrenswear, Menswear and Accessories. She is an expert on fit, design, and aesthetic, as well as the production of tech packs to communicate with all aspects of the garment manufacturing process. She has a BA in Family and Consumer Sciences, Fashion/Apparel Design from Illinois State University.