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From CPA to entrepreneur: One CPA’s journey into the fashion industry

Written on May 1, 2020

By Nicole Fracasso, OSCPA communication intern

Inspiration can come from anywhere, and for Diane Bean, CPA, it happened while she was at the opera. What came next was a dress business meant to cater to every woman’s personal taste.

Bean wanted to create custom dresses for women of all sizes, and after a lot of research, hard work and perseverance, she and her close friend and now business partner Michele Bergamesca, were able to put the idea into action.

This One Dress is a business that creates customized dresses that embrace every woman’s unique shape. The business offers three silhouettes and will soon offer a fourth. When shopping with This One Dress, you can create your own look by choosing the color, neckline, sleeve and hem length.

“It’s taken us several years to perfect our design because this was all from scratch,” Bean said. “We had to hire out professional patternmaking and it took us a long time to find a good manufacturing partner who saw the vision. So, it’s been quite a journey.”

Bean is a senior manager, fiduciary trust tax services, at Ernst & Young LLP and has been with EY for 28 years.

“It’s like having two jobs,” Bean said. “I work all day and then if I have to do something at night, I do it in the evenings and on weekends.”

She says one of the most challenging aspects of this experience has been finding a manufacturing partner that was able to meet their needs. A lot of factories wanted them to place large orders for the same product at once, which doesn’t work with their mission.

“That’s really cost prohibitive for us because we’re completely self-funded,” she said.

When starting your own business, there are going to be challenges. But being a CPA for 31 years has made the process easier for Bean.

“I think with my financial background, it’s been easier to do projections to really understand what our investment is, how we’re tracking along with that, doing accounting records and keeping up on your taxes,” Bean said. “I’m sure that’s really intimidating and a huge challenge for people who don’t have that sort of background.”

One of Bean and Bergamescas’ biggest motivators are the customers who return to buy their second or third dress. Knowing they’ve created something people love and want more of is one of the most rewarding aspects, says Bean.

“It’s just so satisfying to know that you’ve created something that is all yours,” she said.

This One Dress currently offers dresses up to size 18 and is hard at work to bring customers more sizes in 2020. Shop with This One Dress today to find the perfect dress for you and use discount code OSCPA15 to get a 15% off your purchase from now through Mar. 31, 2020.