ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT CIA
Founder and CEO of Barley & Birch’s
Entrepreneurs are busy by nature and the one chosen by me is Kyle Smitley. She may be busier than most as she's a full-time second-year law student in San Francisco, and also the founder of an organic kids clothing line that has become popular with celebrity moms like Jessica Alba and Sheryl Crow. The reason I chose Kyle Smitley is because she seems to be able to do it all and handles her studies along with the business which makes her someone to look up to. She admits that it is very tiring and busy, "At first it was just me staying up until 2 a.m. every day figuring out how to get people to notice the line," she said in an interview with the time magazine. "I basically just don't sleep." Smitley is also fighting for a worthy cause, Barley & Birch's business model operates on the idea of giving back. From the first day of the business, she has donated more than half of her profits -- after paying her staff and a business loan -- to organizations that she feels personally connected with, such as CoCoDa, a non-profit that promotes community development in areas of Central America. During college, Smitley spent time living in El Salvador and met some of the people for which the organization's work was benefiting. When Smitley decided to start Barley & Birch, she wasn't the talk of the Fashion Week runways. She had absolutely no experience in the apparel industry. By chance, she ended up doing some side research for the owner of a clothing boutique who wanted to know whether the companies that claimed to have organic or green products were really making them.Smitley's reports turned up some useful information, including the fact that many of the organic kids clothing companies were not actually using the healthiest fabrics or materials. "I kept noticing gaps between what companies were saying and what they were actually doing," she says. "I basically made up my mind right...
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