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Laura Serino

After visiting Maine only a handful of times, Laura Serino packed up her studio apartment in New York City and headed north for "the way life should be." After a summer on North Haven island, she and her boyfriend, a Maine native, settled in Portland, Maine. Serino is a former magazine editor who has been published in national and regional publications. When she isn't blogging, she spends her time antiquing, scouring thrift shops, exploring new places in Maine and cozying up to her cat Jasper. She recently completed her first book, "Twentysomething Girl, 1001 Quick Tips and Tricks to Make Your Life Easier." Reach her at Follow her: @ForeFrontFash

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Fore Front Fashion with Laura Serino
Posted: June 20, 2013

Fashion, athletics and fundraising: Katalyst hopes to help make a change

Kyle Poissonier is busy. On a recent Monday evening, I stopped into his office while he had just come from a magazine photo shoot and was in the midst of planning a ticket giveaway for his brand’s first big introduction to the Maine community with a concert at the State Theater, arguably the most talked about music event of the summer. Talk about a brand relaunch.

Poissonier was the founder of the former clothing line Elykssor and wanted to know where to take his brand next. After having an ephiphany, he spent a week focusing solely on what he wanted to do with his company and came up with the idea for Katalyst. “The name is a good definition of the brand. It’s athletic stuff, events, casual clothing, charity events rolled into one,” he explains. “If someone has a road race and needs to raise funds and they don’t know how to go about producing a shirt for it, i’ll be the ‘katalyst’ to help them make it happen.”

He’s also working with schools to offer a new way to fundraise. Instead of the magazine and candy drives, the kids will have the opportunity to create their own designs with Katalyst to help raise money for their school. The top kids that sell the most shirts will be in the photo shoot for the shirt and that school will become a Katalyst School, with the hope that they can continue to partner together for fundraising efforts in the longterm. His first test run made one freshman class nearly $3,000 with one of their fundraisers.

He’s even pairing up with professional athletes and recently signed New England Patriot Marquice Cole.  “The appeal is that a student can have the same company make them a custom shirt that an athlete from the New England Patriots also has designs from”. If the kids buy one of his shirts, they’ll be entered to meet Cole and be a Katalyst Athlete for the day.

And of course, if you are looking for great athletic or yoga wear, you can purchase pieces directly from the line too.  “I can’t think of any companies where you can buy a nice tank or hoodie but also some freshman from Bangor can say they had a shirt custom designed for them in order to raise funds for their class.” Poissonier is open to any non-profits or organizations that are interested in creating casual or athletic wear to help fundraise for charities. So what’s next for Katalyst?

The State of the State on July 12th at the State Theater. Co-sponsored by Baxter Brewing, the night will kick off Poissonier’s new endeavor and be a special fundraising event for Raina Jensen, who died tragically in a car accident in 2010. The event will feature all of Maine’s most popular acts including Spose, The Mallett Brothers, The Wrecking, The Other Bones and The Rustic Overtones. Tickets can be purchased here.
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