When we say that Pace student and 2014 Pace Pitch Contest winner Paige Cecchi ’15 has a leg up on most college students, we’re not kidding.
“There’s 66 million women shopping for these products annually,” says Paige Cecchi ’15. “So I saw an opportunity and went for it to solve the problem of having to make a trip when they’ve found a rip.”
A Pforzheimer Honors College and Dyson Business Economics major, Cecchi is the founder of SheerStock, a convenient monthly subscription service for women that delivers a variety of hosiery products, such as tights, stockings, and thigh-highs, in a variety of styles, brands, colors, patterns, prints, and sizes to tailor to all women.
“I came up with the idea for SheerStock when 30 minutes before my first important summer internship interview my stockings ripped… At that point, I had no choice but to run to the nearest drugstore and buy a new pair. When I got to the hosiery section, I panicked because in front of me was a disorganized display of different colors, patterns, styles, features, brands, and prices… and I didn’t know exactly what I needed, plus I was in a rush! After the interview, I thought to myself: how could I make shopping for hosiery easy, convenient, and reliable? That’s when SheerStock was born,” says Cecchi.
Making hosiery shopping easier, SheerStock solves the disorganized drugstore run, with its online subscriptions, allowing customers to fill out a brief style profile, outlining their personal fashion needs and preferences (professional versus fashion), specify their size and any features they desire (such as control top or open-toed varieties), and finally receive a personalized package with renowned brands that meet their needs and preferences.
In April 2014, Cecchi took SheerStock to the 10th Annual Pace Pitch Contest, where she presented her idea, business model, marketing strategy, competitive analysis, and financial plan in just three minutes to a panel of judges. She was awarded first place and $1,000.
“When it was announced that I came in first place, I was in a surreal state of surprise and excitement. I entered this competition with the goal of simply getting up there and pitching. I was in it for the experience, but the prize money was an added bonus,” she says. “I competed against some incredible individuals and teams, all of whom I hope will continue on with their business plans. It’s safe to say that with the experience of pitching now under our belts, we all came out as winners.”
Cecchi has come full circle from four years ago, when she was a high school student at the Lead America Global Business and Entrepreneurship Camp, where she heard Lubin Professor and Entrepreneurship Lab Director Bruce Bachenheimer talking about the Pace Pitch Contest.
“Believe it or not, I was inspired to apply to Pace University after seeing a presentation on the Pace Pitch Contest,” she says. “It is incredible how almost four years later, I have competed in the competition and came in first place.”
In addition to being enterprising and business-minded, Cecchi is also civic-minded, supporting the professional advancement of underprivileged women by donating hosiery to women's empowerment organizations with each new subscriber.
“A pivotal moment was when I realized women’s empowerment organizations that provide disadvantaged women with professional attire need hosiery products. Most women don’t know about these organizations and their missions, and furthermore, they are unaware that these products are among the least donated and are in demand. When I realized I could help other people with this business, I started to lose sleep over launching the company,” she says.
Launching in May 2014, SheerStock will make your job interviews and nights out seamless and tear-free. But for now, Cecchi also has her hands full with other activities, including helping to revive the Pace Economics Society after it had been dormant for several years. And remember that interview for an internship that triggered the idea for SheerStock? She got it and will be a full-time intern at J.P. Morgan this summer.
“The Pace Pitch Contest has benefitted me in ways that I don’t think anyone will ever fully understand. Through this experience, I have found the confidence in myself to be able to share my business plans with anyone,” she adds.
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Women Writing (NYC)
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