After noticing a huge gap in clothing for young girls, Hillary Whitaker, a University of Utah accounting student, started Curie Wear in 2016, a company that designs custom fabrics focused on STEM. They keep their clothing designs feminine for young girls. As Whitaker said, “It is important to emphasize femininity and let girls know it is important and special to be a girl while still loving bugs and astronauts.”
Whitaker was inspired by Marie Curie, the first female to win two Nobel Prizes in different fields — one in chemistry and one in physics. Whitaker wants to help young girls follow in Curie’s footsteps by finding an interest in a STEM subject while still focusing on being feminine.
When Whitaker’s daughter was born, she and her husband were looking for clothes with dinosaurs and rocketships on them and didn’t have any luck. This is when Whitaker decided to design her own fabric. She now has custom fabrics like the constellations and the periodic table, and of course, dinosaurs and rocketships.
Whitaker is passionate about women in STEM. She said, “I am hugely biased because I want my daughter to be a rocket scientist. I want her to feel comfortable being who she is. If she loves dinosaurs then I want her to wear dinosaurs, but I don’t want her to be called a boy.”
You can find Curie Wear on Etsy at etsy.com/shop/CurieWear.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2018 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs.