Business

Designer Sets Out To Empower Women Entrepreneurs

Sewing skill sparks lifelong interest
Street has been making money off of her own sewing skills since she was in high school in Hanua, Germany, where she learned the history of fabrics and how to make her own patterns in a home economics class.

“It’s a subject that’s often glazed over, but it taught me lifelong skills,” Street, of Akron said. “I can mend anything for my family, and in high school I did alterations for extra money.”

Street dreamed of being a fashion designer with her own label and was accepted into Kent State University’s fashion program, but ultimately decided to study fashion merchandizing at University of Akron so that she could save money on room and board by living at home.

She ended up spending most of her career in marketing, and started her own company, VineWorks Marketing.

She also started the now-closed BABE (Black and Brilliant Entrepreneurs) Magazine, that ran quarterly for three years and provided tools and resources to Black women entrepreneurs; and co-hosted the entrepreneurship-focused Make Life Rich Podcast with Tara Jefferson.

Demand for masks creates opportunity to share craft
When COVID came to Ohio in March 2020 and Street became overwhelmed with her cloth mask orders, it was no surprise that she used it as an opportunity to encourage entrepreneurship in others.
“I began leveraging the help of other Black women in the community who had been displaced from work or furloughed due to COVID,” she said. “Sewing created a safety net, because in the start of the pandemic, we were jolted into this idea that no matter how secure of stable you think your job is, it may not be depending on what’s going on in the world.”

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