Sustainable fashion designer tops competitions

Sierra RyanWallick, founder of Up Cycle Design, is pictured here with one of the stitched cloth stickers made by her company. | PHOTO COURTESY OF UP CYCLE DESIGN

NEWARK – Sierra Ryan Wallick has been a social entrepreneur since she was 10.

Now a University of Delaware student, her passion culminated in her sustainable fashion startup, Up Cycle Design, finishing first in the post-revenue track at the 2021 Hen Hatch startup competition and first in the Great Dames Remarkable Ideas pitch competition.

The brood of hen University of Delaware’s Entrepreneurial Student Competition, held virtually on December 4, featured pitches for healthy chocolate bars, virtual wellness coaching, a cultural catering service, and more.

RyanWallick received $ 7,250 in cash, which she believes will go into salaries for her team and new equipment for their upcoming product launches. He also received 20 hours of business consulting services from Placers. Up Cycle Design received $ 2,500 in travel expenses for third-party entrepreneurial competitions.

The UD student presented her startup to the judges as “a huge economic opportunity and a huge opportunity for social impact”. To combat textile waste, Up Cycle takes small scraps of fabric that would otherwise be thrown away and creates zero-waste products, such as fabric stickers and bags.

Up Cycle’s business plan is a charity program in which RyanWallick works directly with non-profit organizations to create designs for its products. Up Cycle donates 15% of each unit sold to the non-profit organization.

“Nonprofits are so excited to sell our products on their own,” said RyanWallick. “It is also a way for them to raise money in a sustainable way because most fundraising methods or products are not sustainable.”

At the heart of RyanWallick’s vision is community engagement: Through its social entrepreneurship curriculum, Level Up, collaborates with organizations such as The Warehouse in East Wilmington to teach high school students about entrepreneurship, design and sustainability. Student cohorts follow the same Up Cycle process in choosing a non-profit organization to support and research, create and present customized projects. Students learn how to market and host a fundraising campaign for the winning design.

Up Cycle Design made this patch in collaboration with the Ronald McDonald House. | PHOTO COURTESY OF UP CYCLE DESIGN

“It’s really great to empower teens locally and to have these basic marketing campaigns too,” said RyanWallick.

RyanWallick plans to expand Level Up and create an embroidery training program for people with barriers to employment, such as people with disabilities.

The Hen Hatch winner recently celebrated another milestone: AutumnLeaf Fundraisers, the nonprofit he founded at 10, reached $ 100,000 in nonprofit donations. The money raised from AutumnLeaf’s crafts is donated primarily to a local cat rescue, Forgotten Cats.

Up Cycle Design made this patch in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign. | PHOTO COURTESY OF UP CYCLE DESIGN

Up Cycle will relaunch a new line of themed stickers in January, and RyanWallick plans to focus on expanding its product line, with cloth bags, home décor and other accessories on the horizon.

“We have a product that sells and we are expanding it,” said RyanWallick. “I can’t wait to do it for the rest of my life.”

In second place on Hen Hatch’s post-entry track was Stemmer, a web app created by Samuel Goetz that automates the organizing process of music sound engineers. Stemmer received a $ 4,500 cash award and 10 hours of accounting service from Belfint Lyons Shuman. Stemmer won the Audience Choice Award for Most Promising Startup, which includes $ 1,000 to spend on business model research expenses as a VentureOn member. Stemmer was also awarded $ 2,500 for third-party entrepreneurship competition expenses.

Pick-Up Sports, a youth sports program that encourages young people to become multi-sport athletes, founded by Michael Meola, ranked third on the post-revenue track with a cash prize of $ 3,250 and $ 2,500 to support travel to other business competitions.

At the top of the pre-revenue track was Share Wallet, a startup founded by Jason Bangser that optimizes mutual earnings by linking referral links of friends’ products and services on a single social platform. Share Wallet received $ 4,800 in cash, gifts in kind such as the Devlin law firm providing legal services and filing fees for a trademark or patent application, 10 hours of accounting services from Belfint Lyons Shuman, and $ 2,500 for entrepreneurial competitions of third parts.

Navigating Access, an interactive crowd-sourced accessibility map founded by Amanda Zicherman, ranked second with a cash price of $ 2,900 and $ 2,500 for travel expenses to third-party entrepreneurial contests. Navigating Access received the Audience Choice Award for Most Motivated Startup, which awards $ 1,000 to spend on business model research expenses as a VentureOn member.

Supremely Sweet, a startup founded by Santha Rani and Esha Shah offering sweet and healthy options like chocolate bars, placed third on the pre-revenue chart with $ 2,300 in cash and $ 2,500 to support the entrepreneurial competition. of third parties.


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