April 10, 2013 •
The intern perspective
Getting dressed in the morning for a fashion designer is one of the harder things I’ve done. I did know one thing: I couldn’t wear a button-up shirt.
On March 21, Rochelle Behrens, Founder and CEO of The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens, flew in from Washington, D.C. to pay the city of Akron, and State and Federal Communications, a visit.
Our Founder and CEO, Elizabeth Bartz, met Rochelle while in Washington and, impressed with her story, invited Ms. Behrens to speak at Akron Roundtable—the city’s formative speaker series, held downtown at Quaker Square.
So she came. Rochelle spoke to a full room dining on beef tips and tofu and discussed how she utilized one particular struggle she faced as a lobbyist in Washington, and turned it into her new career: a designer and an innovator in the fashion world. “I wore every day what I thought was the perfect uniform: a button-down shirt. Turns out, that one item was undermining my credibility and doing everything but promoting me as a young professional,” she said. In other words, the old standby: “was gaping open in all the wrong places.”
From here, Rochelle created The Shirt. And it won’t gap, or gape, at all. Her patented Dual Button Technology™ got her to Oprah, who named this product her “Must Have Fashion Item of the Year.” The Shirt was featured on The Today Show and in The New York Times, and Rochelle was listed as one of Inc. magazine’s “30 under 30: America’s Coolest Entrepreneurs.” That’s pretty cool.
After Roundtable, Ms. Behrens joined us at our offices across the street for a reception where she spoke to our staff, our guests, and fashion students from Kent State University and the University of Akron. She offered insight and tips about her successful plight as a young woman into the world of business. “It’s not just about fashion,” she said, citing confidence in clothing as key to self-assurance in the workplace. “It really is about female empowerment.”
Video created by Maria Varonis.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.