A long-dreamed of idea and grant money from Wake Forest’s entrepreneurial center gave rise to Wear to Win, senior Laura Ormson’s company that offers trendy golf apparel for young women. Ormson runs the company with her mother, Cindy Ormson.
“As a young golfer, I would go to tournaments and have to wear shorts and collared shirts that were neither feminine nor fun,” says Ormson, who is a member of Wake Forest’s golf team. “I was embarrassed to go out in public wearing golf clothing.”
During her years as a junior golfer, Ormson and her mother, Cindy, attended tournaments and shared the frustration of other young golfers and their mothers about the lack of clothing options for young women golfers. On the last day of her freshman year, she visited Wake Forest’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Liberal Arts and applied for grant money to start her own company.
The company launched in June 2009 and offers skorts, tops and accessories on its Web site. Several girls’ high school teams already sport the Wear to Win look, and some University pro shops have ordered the sportswear; the company has already turned a profit.
“I’ve been involved in every aspect of the business because I wanted to understand it all,” says Ormson, who is from Granger, Ind. “I work with a pattern-maker who constructs the pieces to my designs, makes samples and writes instructions for manufacturers. I attend trade shows to find vendors who can provide the many individual pieces needed for the outfits. Finding the best quality zippers, buttons, mesh, wicking material — pulling all these things together is a huge challenge.”
She also wants to offer female golfers more than clothes, and she includes on her Web site — which features the tag ling “inspiring golf apparel for aspiring women” — profiles of women golfers, a resources link, a newsletter, and a question and answer section. “The second component of the business is to offer an informative and inspirational site for young women golfers and their parents,” she says.
“I’ve learned so much from the process of launching and maintaining my business,” says Ormson, who is majoring in communication. “I never thought about becoming an entrepreneur. But now I’ve gained confidence and am following my dreams. I’ve learned how to adapt and change and adjust to the problems that come up whenever one pursues a passion or an idea. After graduation, I plan to put all my energy into growing this company to its full potential.”