KSU Fashion Grad Student Launches Start-up
Siera Terry, a current student in the Fashion Industry Studies graduate program at Kent State University’s School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, knew she wanted to be involved with fashion at young age.
“I had a campus visit in seventh grade with Upward Bound and saw the Kent State program. The fashion program was always something I had been thinking about. At Kent State, I could be a fashion major or go into international business; I liked that,” said Terry. “I also always wanted to study abroad, and all of the options they had through the Fashion School was another reason I decided on Kent State.”
Terry, who will be graduating this spring and receiving her Master of Fashion Industry Studies degree, launched her new start-up, Bougie Bands, in October 2019 and the business has begun to take off.
Bougie Bands are fashion headbands that are designed to “bring a little style” to the wearer’s everyday life. The headbands are handcrafted in Ohio and come in “classic” or “bridal” style. The company also recently expanded their line to include hijab designs.
The idea for Bougie Brands started while Terry was working at Nordstrom. “I tried on a Lele headband. It was a beautiful, $150 headband. I couldn’t get it out of my head, but I didn’t want to spend that kind of money on a headband. Since I had been talking about doing something creative, my friend mentioned that I should start a headband business,” expressed Terry. “I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up the supplies to make a headband. In line at Hobby Lobby, I was thinking about a name and decided on Bougie Bands. It all started with that name and the pearls and velvet that I bought to make my first headband.”
She credits the School of Fashion with providing her the necessary experience to develop her own brand.“The day I bought the supplies to make the headband, I went home and made a logo for Bougie Bands, which was a skill I had learned to do through the Fashion School. I can figure out my markup because I’ve taken classes for financial accounting and merchandising classes. A lot of the skills I learned were not only the elements that go into creating a business, but also having the connections to expand the brand,” said Terry. “The whole network that I made within the Fashion School has helped build the brand. People will say how Bougie Bands looks so professional, and that’s because I learned how to market effectively.”
Terry was recently announced as a top 6 finalist for the KSU College of Business Administration’s Annual Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (CEBI) Pitch Competition, where she will be pitching Bougie Bands. The annual pitch competition aims to help grow and nurture startups within the university and the College’s entrepreneurship program. Once selected, six finalists participate in a three-month mentorship program to prepare for the live pitch event. The fourth annual CEBIpitch competition will take place April 29, 2020 at the Akron Public Library. In total, $30,000 in prizes will be awarded at the event.
To learn more about the CEBIpitch and register to attend, please visit https://www.kent.edu/business/cebipitch.