Purdue apparel design student launches company to champion nonprofits

September 22, 2014  

Mishler scarves

Emily Mishler, a Purdue University apparel design and technology major from Goshen, Indiana, poses with scarves she designed for her spring 2014 collection. Mishler sells the scarves through her company Get Involved - Be The Change Inc. and donates the profits to nonprofit organizations. (Purdue Research Foundation photo)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - An apparel design and technology major who was crowned Miss Purdue University has launched a startup called Get Involved - Be the Change Inc. that raises funds for nonprofits by designing scarves and selling them online.

"We create and sell limited edition scarves and donate the profits to the organizations we highlight each month," said Emily Mishler, a senior from Goshen, Indiana. "September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and Get Involved - Be the Change is collaborating with Ovar'coming Together, an Indiana-based nonprofit resource and education organization."

Get Involved - Be the Change selects organizations based on national advocacy months and initiatives that already have been established. It partnered with College Mentors for Kids in January, the American Heart Association in February, the National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders in March, Prevent Child Abuse America in April, Mental Health America in May, Make-A-Wish Foundation in June, the Timothy Ray Brown Foundation in July and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in August.

Mishler said the company also increases public awareness of the Miss America Organization and educates the public about each nonprofit's mission by participating in and promoting their initiatives.

"We want to enable the public to be more informed about each nonprofit organization and encourage involvement that is specific to each individual's interests and talents," she said. "I wanted to challenge myself through this platform by fundraising, networking and creating through the design and production processes. I hope our volunteers also find a way to challenge themselves to benefit these organizations."

Mishler credited personnel at Purdue Foundry for assisting her in creating Get Involved - Be the Change. She and her mentor created a business plan and discussed business growth during weekly meetings at the Foundry's office in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

"Purdue students in all academic disciplines are learning from some of the pre-eminent experts in the world. The knowledge these professors convey could lead students to create their own companies, like I have, to benefit people and organizations around the world," she said. "Purdue Foundry mentors are equally expert at providing guidance on ideation, business plans, funding, grant writing and more. These resources are invaluable as Purdue students look to create their own startups."

About Get Involved - Be the Change Inc.

Get Involved - Be the Change initiates positive change by creating a network of nonprofit organizations, increasing awareness about the Miss America Organization and fundraising for specific organizations each month. Collaboration with a different local and national nonprofit organization each month for the 2014 calendar year works to make this dream a reality.

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. The Purdue Foundry is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org. 

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org 

Source: Emily Mishler, 574-361-6203, emilymishler@gmail.com

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