Here’s What it’s Like to Work for a Sustainable, Women-Led Startup

To play a crucial role in the college experience of a student—and a budding sustainability and design guru, at that—is something we’re proud to do, so we sat down with our interns to hear their testimonials—the good, the tough and the unexpected. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to explore the textile industry, spearhead sustainability efforts, work for a startup, or a company where almost every employee is under the age of 25—you’re about to find out. Read on for an interview with Reborn’s first summer interns!

Reborn Clothing Co.: We couldn’t have hoped for a more awesome team of interns this summer. What was your favorite part about the internship?

Grace Watson, Junior, NCSU: My favorite part of the internship was the community of people I had the privilege of working with. It was such a fun experience to work with so many people close to my age and really get a first-hand look at how much dedication goes into building a successful business.

The aspect I liked the most was definitely getting to research sustainable alternatives for others to adopt into their lives. It is so important to be proactive when it comes to protecting the planet and I’m proud of the work that I have done during the internship.

Nicole Weinerman, Junior, App State: I loved getting to design products for the Zero Waste Collection. I loved making products with a bigger purpose: keeping scrap material out of landfills. I designed two products: a scarf scrunchie and a reusable straw pouch—coming soon!

R: Diving in head-first at a startup can be a daunting task. How did you feel about working for a young company?

Emma Hollrah, Senior, App State: It was thrilling. It gave me the opportunity to become really involved at the company. I didn’t feel like I was just an intern, but rather part of the team. I loved being able to participate in different ways, from helping out at photoshoots for Reborn’s Collegiate Collection to designing products for new business ventures!

I loved the fast-paced environment and that everyday was unique with the different projects we completed. With Reborn being a startup, I got to wear many hats over the course of the internship and get to know the people, the company and the products more personally. There were always challenges for us to take on, too, which I loved.

Emily Urish, Sophomore, App State: While my first impression was that it was slightly chaotic, I learned that everyone who works at Reborn has many roles and responsibilities and that it takes a lot of teamwork and collaboration to make a company successful. 

NW: I got to see the good and the bad of starting your own company, which was really beneficial, because I’d like to open up something of my own one day. I felt like I learned and gained more experience from a small company than I would have from a bigger company, because I got to really see how a company runs.

R: You got to dip your toes in more than a few areas this summer. What kinds of projects did you have the opportunity to work on?

NW: I definitely received a wide range of experience. I got to work with the design team to create products and tech packs. I conducted brand ambassador outreach, assisted in graphic design efforts for Reborn and Dyehard Fan Supply’s websites, created infographics for social media and use cases for Reborn’s partners, blogged and helped update the online shop.

EH: I blogged, helped ship some orders from our manufacturer, prototyped a new product, revamped our templates for licensing and made mock-ups to show clients what their products would look like. It was exciting realizing that we created products that will actually be used by Reborn’s customers one day.

EU: Throughout my internship I did so many different things, from doing research to generate client leads, designing potential products, and even modeling in a photoshoot.

R: It’s 2020, but women-owned and operated businesses are still few and far between. What was it like to work for a company started by a woman not much older than you?

EH:It felt powerful and really encouraging to watch Emily lead the company. It is amazing to see a young woman make a big impact with universities and various companies by utilizing deadstock fabric to make cool new products for events and bookstores!

GW: I loved working with so many successful women who are so knowledgeable about the textile industry and dedicate their time to Reborn. They were truly amazing role models and they’ve taught me a lot about professionalism and management.

R: So you made it through the summer. Do you believe this experience will help you choose the next step in building your future career?

NW: I believe that this internship experience will help me choose a future career, because after seeing the positive impact that Reborn has on the industry, I don’t ever see myself working with a company that doesn’t feel strongly about sustainability.

GW: This experience will 100 percent help me in my journey to work in the textile industry. I’ve gained extensive knowledge about sustainability as well as marketing within the industry, which will help me better understand the qualifications employers look for. I got to meet some amazing people and learn so much about running a new business, which is the most valuable thing of all.