We are excited to feature one of our 2022 Women of Color Incubator Pitch Competition winners. These up-and-coming Black women business owners are sure to inspire and motivate other young Black women entrepreneurs, and all of us, to pursue their own business ventures.
Meet Nadia Draughn, Founder and Owner of Stitchwnadi and 1st Place Awardee from North Carolina A&T State University.
What is the name of your business and what is its mission?
The name of my business is Stitchwnadi. This is an abbreviation for Stitch with Nadia. Stichwnadi is a business that creates customized fashions tailored to the buyer’s request. The tailored fashions are made from recycled and original fabrics that promote a socially responsible business. The founder’s creativity allows her to think outside the box to design unique pieces that separate the company from other businesses. Stitchwnadi enables individuals to express their character through style and fashion.
What inspired you to launch your business?
My passion for sewing inspired me to start my business. From an early age, I always loved designing new garments. Initially, I began by designing doll clothes from recycled socks. When I was ten, I asked my parents to purchase me a sewing machine for my birthday so I could continue to perfect my craft. During my junior year of high school, I wanted to tackle a new project by creating pants from a woven blanket. After talking with my friends and throwing out ideas, I saw an opportunity to start something beyond just sewing projects but a business. My business was launched on September 19, 2021, as a junior in high school and has grown since then.
Which college are you attending, or did you attend? What is your major?
I am currently enrolled as a Freshman at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, majoring in Business Administration Supply Chain Management.
How did you invest the seed grants you won in the pitch competition?
I have used the seed grants won to cover the cost of brand photo shoots and videography. The seed grant has allowed me to capture my products in a new light while preparing for a new collection. I have also been able to purchase fabric that has allowed me to design new creative products for purchase.
Other than the seed grants, how has the Incubator program benefited you and your business?
My experience with the incubator program has been one of ingenuity and has allowed me to tap into the authenticity of my craft. The skills that I have garnered are the importance of networking and collaboration. The power of networking and collaborating with other young entrepreneurs with similar paths has ignited my ideas/visions and will add value to my entrepreneurial journey.
What advice would you give to up-and-coming entrepreneurs?
I encourage them to follow their passion and dreams. I firmly believe that your pathway in life is created only for you. Let aspiring entrepreneurs know that challenges and obstacles are a part of the process to success. You can have the best business plan and still have to make several revisions. Stay encouraged if you have to recreate your vision multiple times. Never compare your craft to that of another because only you can give the world what you were created to give. Allow yourself to think outside the box because you are an original.
What is your best tip for those competing in a pitch competition?
My best tip for those competing in a pitch competition is to stay excited about your business. Right before I pitched, I was very nervous until I shifted focus. I then treated this as an opportunity to share my vision with others and became excited about pitching my business rather than being anxious and nervous. Ultimately, I would tell them to remember that what they are doing/about to do is a stepping stone for what is to come. Instead, proceed with confidence as if you know something greater is coming