As a young girl, Nicole taught herself how to sew using a sewing machine her mother thought was broken and YouTube videos. Now, the senior at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa studies finance while also managing her very own clothing line. We stopped by her studio-- aka the costume room in her college's theater department-- to see how she does it.
DESCRIBE THE IDEA OR PROJECT YOU ARE WORKING ON.
Virid is the name I've given to my clothing line. Virid means "green" in Greek; it represents the sustainable and eco-friendly approach taken to produce high quality, one-of-a-kind, timeless pieces. The textiles used are made from recycled materials, natural fibers, or U.S. organically sourced fibers that have been GOTS certified. GOTS is known as the world's leading standard for the sustainable processing of clothing and textiles made with organically grown fibers. When buying from Virid the consumers knows that they are making an investment in both their wardrobe and the environment.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR IDEA?
I've always loved fashion and wanted to have my own clothing line. I knew how to sew and design but I never really pushed myself to the extent I do now until a couple months ago when my goal was to participate in the Flyover Fashion Fest. After I had established that goal everything else sort of fell into place. I made a list of things I needed to do in order to get there such as brand name, philosophy of my brand, figure out who was going to be my target market, etc. My finance major became a huge role in giving me guidelines of how to successfully finance and set up my business.
In addition, certain events were happening in my life at the same time that lead me towards the eco-friendly approach to fashion. My home country of Bolivia and my hometown are going through a water shortage due to climate change. It has affected the entire country and my family. Each time I thought about fashion being sustainable I became more attached and enamored with the idea until it became my philosophy. Before I knew it, I was developing a business plan with financial projections and estimating the value of my company.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED SO FAR AND HOW HAVE YOU OVERCOME THEM? HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU IN THIS?
The biggest challenge has been finding the time to dedicate myself to my project. As a college student, life is already busy with trying to manage my classes, Greek life, and work, so dedicating time to design and creating clothing can be a challenge.
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR IDEA?
I think every milestone after starting my project has been a good thing. From developing the business plan with a professor to having this interview with you, and now being able to showcase my collection at the Flyover Fashion Fest, it seems like everything is a good thing.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR MANTRA?
“But though she was little she is fierce.” -William Shakespeare
“I am strong, I was born to do this.”
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG GIRLS THAT WANT TO MAKE THEIR IDEAS HAPPEN?
Simply give it a try, because once you start you're already halfway there.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES?
Sewing obviously, otherwise I enjoy watching documentaries for fun.
If you know a girl with a story like Nicole's, nominate her to be our next featured Idea Girl!