Meet the FWMN Team
Sarah Edwards, Co-founder and CEO
Sarah Edwards is the founder of the creative marketing agency, Some Great People, and is the co-founder of Fashion Week MN. Some Great People offers a variety of services including marketing, social media, influencer relations, content production and events. The secret sauce is connecting all the dots to create cost savings for their clients. A few of Some Great People clients include Metropolitan, Rosedale Center, HandsOn Twin Cities, Canopy by Hilton, Sherman Associates, Cameron’s Coffee, Agra Culture, Josefina and more. Sarah is an event producer, a social content strategist, and a spreader of kindness. Sarah has won the AdFed 32 Under 32 award, many “Best Of” awards from City Pages for her work in fashion and community, and has been featured in countless media outlets and publications, including Star Tribune, KARE 11, WCCO, Fox 9, Artful Living Magazine, Minnesota Monthly Magazine and more.
Susan Leppke, Chief Operating Officer
Susan Leppke is a strategic business leader who drives transformational change in a variety of industries. She has worked with corporations, governments, trade associations, national committees, and across varied industries from health care to technology to drive innovation and create long-term partnerships. Most recently, Susan serves as a Senior Director for AABB, where she is responsible for advancing advocacy and driving public policy initiatives on improving patient access to transfusion medicine and biotherapies.
Susan also studied dance throughout her life and is passionate about artistic creation, direction, and performance. She has worked as a model and performer for various companies including Sole 2 Soul Dance Conversion, M-SHE Productions, and Enticing Entertainment. Some of her career highlights include dancing for the Rocco Altobelli Fashion Awards, Ivey Awards, MN Opera events, as well as in several performances for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In her free time, Susan enjoys offering her talents by serving on boards in the Twin Cities, running, freelancing, and supporting the arts and fashion community.
Chandler Weir, Marketing and Creative Director
Chandler Weir is a passionate saleswoman and marketer hailing from Chanhassen, MN where she lived until college when she accepted a scholarship to attend the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. As an International Business and Marketing double major, Chandler took courses that sent her to Israel, Madagascar, and Spain to better understand how people and culture influence business. During her time in school, Chandler worked as a sales intern for Colgate Palmolive and Procter & Gamble, and accepted a full time offer with P&G following her graduation.
Chandler has now worked at P&G for five years across three different states, in both account and category management roles calling on a variety of customers including Macy’s and Target. Outside of the office, Chandler enjoys working on freelance projects spanning everything from social media management to modeling and proudly works as the Marketing Director for Fashion Week MN.
Kim Jurek-Valanzasca, FWMN Main Producer
Kim Jurek-Valanzasca has been a designer and producer in the Minneapolis fashion community since 2005. She graduated from Augsburg College with a BA in Studio Art in 2006 and studied fashion design in Florence, Italy at The Accademia Italiana.
She currently designs and produces her own women’s label, Alma Mia and founded the boutique, The Fitting Room in 2018. The Fitting Room represents and sells local brands of clothing, jewelry, hats, hand bags and therapeutic personal care. She is committed to elevating and giving MN designers an opportunity to sell and showcase their collections in her boutique and in the runway events she produces each season.
Grace Giblin, Social Media Manager
Grace Giblin is an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota double-majoring in retail merchandising and strategic communications. Grace works part-time at Anthropologie and also helps out at a locally owned sustainable fashion boutique. She is passionate about sustainability, fashion, and community. In her free time, Grace loves to write on her blog, thrift shop, do yoga, cook and spend time with family and friends. Grace is excited to be a part of MN Fashion Week this spring, and can not wait to bring bold and creative ideas to the table.