On June 20,SNAP Financial Access hosted the inaugural Women’s Business Center Competition featuring three dynamic, creative businesswomen narrowed down from a preliminary group of competitors.. The result was the stuff of entrepreneurial brilliance.
Liorah Wichser (pictured, center), founder of Nayeli Clothing, wore a skirt she made just the night before. Her reasoning? To prove that her clothing is functional to be made quickly. That’s part of the strategy of Wichser’s venture – to build a clothing design cooperative that creates good-wage local jobs while producing beautiful clothing
Wichser opened her presentation by stating that Nayeli, her company’s namesake, means “I love you.” The next 30 minutes of her presentation proved that not only does Wischer love what she does – she’s also really good at making other people love it too.
The four judges present at the SNAP Financial Access Women’s Business Center Business Competition thought so as well.
Registered nurse Anne Parsons came with 24 years of nursing experience that she harnessed into Empowered in Health, LLC with the intention of developing a relationship with one’s health and making effective lifestyle changes through yoga.
Melanie Kern, the competition’s final contestant, came with an idea already executed in several other cities – a local bike share. In Kern’s idea of Spokane Bike Share, the public can borrow a bike from street docks on a short-term basis and return the bike to another dock within the city.
Each woman presented compelling, well-researched business plans. Ultimately, the judges selected Wichser’s Nayeli Clothing to win the grand prize: a check from BECU in the amount of $2,000. With this check, Wichser plans to give the opportunity for everybody to get involved in their clothing’s development. To do this, she will host regular “Maker’s Nights” where Nayeli Clothing supplies the venue, materials, machine and refreshments. Guests will spend the evening making their own Nayeli Clothing with the ability to purchase it at half the price.
Everything about Nayeli Clothing says “I love you,” from the community engagement, to the focus on local economic improvements, to sustainability model of her materials. Nayeli Clothing is made out of natural fibers (think: hemp, wool, cotton, bamboo) with some enhancements like Lycra or Dintex to make these materials breathable, flexible, water-resistant and stretchable.
This level of quality and attention to detail is clearly reflected in Nayeli’s clothing and every material Liorah produces to complement the brand. Her PowerPoint, website and business cards were gorgeous reminders of the type of quality you can expect by investing in Nayeli Clothing.
Click HERE to view Liorah at the event last month offering her Nayeli Clothing elevator pitch.