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Rising Stars: Meet Anna McCraney

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna McCraney.

Anna, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Since 2015, Blank Canvas Development has been working with aspiring entrepreneurs, young designers, and existing brands across the United States and abroad to bring their ideas to life, and get their products to market.

With a focus on American manufacturing, ethical and sustainable production, and a fair wage, Blank Canvas provides pattern making, sample making, and manufacturing services for custom, small run, and large scale clothing and soft goods, developed in-house, and manufactured across New York City and Brooklyn.

Blank Canvas is founded by designer Anna McCraney, winner of Season 1 of Bravo’s “The Fashion Show” hosted by Isaac Mizrahi, Kelly Rowland, and Fern Mallis. It aims to offer a streamlined and friendly approach to development and manufacturing in an industry notoriously limited to monied insiders and shrouded in secrecy.

With her clients, Anna shares what she has learned from her own successes and failures, offers 20 years of industry and pattern-making experience, a designer’s perspective, practical advice, and patient education in an overwhelming and many times cost-prohibitive industry. Anna’s decades-long relationships with her factories allow her team to negotiate fair prices for her clients, and clients can rest assured that the details of both development and production will be managed appropriately, with great quality control, and fast turnarounds.

In August 2021, Blank Canvas opened its first retail location in Savannah, Georgia at 1815 Bull Street. The rear of the space serves as a home to the pattern-making and development arm of Blank Canvas Development and Production, allowing shoppers to see the product in progress.

The retail space features the Blank Canvas eponymous label, client brands developed and manufactured by Blank Canvas, products created by beloved makers from around the country, as well as local artists and designers. Both in-person and online, customers can not only shop for unique products not found anywhere else, they can create their own custom products and launch their own unique brand. Whether a client is working with Blank Canvas in their Williamsburg Brooklyn office, making themselves at home in the Savannah location, or dialing in remotely, they are always offered New York City resources with southern hospitality.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Absolutely not! You have to remember that even failures are successes if you learned something. The fashion industry in general has changed dramatically since the year 2000, and the old rules don’t always apply anymore. When I closed my store in New York, it was like a death, but I had to learn how to adapt and pivot. I’m happier and stronger now for it.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a professional pattern-maker and designer by trade, and Blank Canvas assists new and emerging designers launch their products. From design idea to finished product, we bring dreams to life! We believe in ethical, fair-wage manufacturing and we give clients a more hands-on experience throughout the process.

I am most proud of our clients and seeing them realize their dreams. It’s very satisfying!

We know how daunting and technical the manufacturing process can be. We lead with educating our clients about the manufacturing process. Not only do they walk away with the manufacturing capability and a finished product or collection, but they also leave with an education and a new skillset.

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