The Zell Lurie Institute’s campus-wide business plan competition, the Michigan Business Challenge (MBC), concludes on Friday, March 15. ZLI will highlight each of the student teams competing in the MBC Finals.
Holly Keith Lingerie – Holly Meyers
How did you come up with your team name?
We added “Keith” as the brand’s last name after realizing that the combination of my first name with any of my middle or last names did not reflect my design aesthetic. I still wanted the name to have some connection to me, as is standard for luxury apparel brands and looked for names from close members of my family.
Tell us briefly about your venture.
I started thinking about developing a lingerie brand way back when I was a teenager having immense difficulty finding bras I wanted to wear that were also in my size. I suffered huge blows to my confidence because of it. My main goal is to help women feel confident in the bras they’re in, the same way that a good-fitting bra finally helped me. The effect of being comfortable and confident from your bra alone is amazing. To do this, I’ve developed a new sizing system, which is a pretty new and different concept in the lingerie industry.
How has the MBC experience helped transform your approach to business strategy?
While I’ve always known the industry and general customer needs, MBC taught me to get the hard facts to defend my position. Now, it’s almost fun to be proven right or wrong based on the data or research out there. MBC has also taught me to think way bigger than I was, and the crazy thing is, those bigger goals are actually possible.
What do you think will be the long-term impact of the implementation of this venture?
This venture has the possibility to seriously shake up the industry. Not many other bra brands have actually done something different with sizing to solve the fitting problem. They use marketing and education to try to fit more women correctly, but Holly Keith Lingerie is actually using research and data to change the way things are currently done.
What has been your biggest takeaway from this experience?
MBC has shown me just how well I know my product, business, and industry. Being able to answer questions immediately and with confidence just keeps growing my confidence in myself as an entrepreneur. When I start to have doubts, I just remind myself that I got this!
If you win, what will you do immediately following the competition?
Production! I’m doing testing with my product right now, but actual production of bras is quite expensive. Winning MBC would help that and it would help with the high marketing costs of luxury brands.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
Incredibly thankful to have made it this far in the competition and humbled to be able to compete next to so many great businesses!
Learn more about these great student startups by attending the Michigan Business Challenge Semi-Finals and Finals on March 15.