Two enterprising women entrepreneurs in the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship are the 2019 recipients of the LeighDeux Women in Entrepreneurship Excellence Scholarship: Krishna Patel ’20 and Anastasia Soule ’19.
Patel is a psychology major and an entrepreneurship and chemistry double minor from Kernersville, North Carolina. She is a Buckley Public Service Scholar and is involved with Best Buddies through the Campus Y, Health Occupations Students of America and FAAST, a club that facilitates service opportunities, social events and academic encouragement. Patel is passionate about entrepreneurship and affordable healthcare and plans to open a sliding scale hospital in the future.
She received the LeighDeux Scholarship to launch a new product called Travanity, a travel hygiene kit for students and travelers. Patel intends to use the award to pay the costs associated with filing a patent for the product.
“Travanity holds all of the user’s oral hygiene products in a clean and mobile container that is easy to organize and move about,” Patel said. “Travanity is now patent-pending, and the LeighDeux Women in Entrepreneurship Excellence Award will not only help me pay for the costs associated with filing the patent but also give me guidance on how to become a successful entrepreneur.”
Soule, from Asheville, North Carolina, graduated in May 2019 with an economics and public policy double major and history and entrepreneurship double minor. Throughout her time at Carolina, Soule has been an active member of the community, volunteering with the Campus Y, the Community Empowerment Fund and the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History. Her passions include economic justice and access to capital.
These interests inspired her to pursue her own venture, Phoenyx, which upcycles used billboard vinyl into trendy accessories, aiming to provide fair and supported employment to the Chapel Hill community. After graduation, Soule will serve as a Venture for America Fellow, where she will continue to use entrepreneurial skillsets to build community and economic empowerment.
“The LeighDeux Scholarship is allowing my company, Phoenyx, to grow its team,” Soule said. “This funding will provide a student with a professional opportunity to create and lead the organization’s marketing content, and without it, we would be unable to meet our goals for launching our online market and social media campaign this summer. We are incredibly grateful for LeighDeux’s generosity and support.”
Leigh Goodwyn ’88 founded LeighDeux in 2012. Her business, a textile design and manufacturing company producing fabrics, bedding and interior décor designed for students living on campus, created the scholarship program as a key component of the company’s mission to inspire women to pursue entrepreneurship.
The LeighDeux Scholarship is given to female students enrolled in the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship. The scholarship awards provide support for research, travel, internship opportunities or initial start-up funding. Recipients receive advice from Goodwyn and will have the opportunity to meet with LeighDeux executives for regular mentoring.
LeighDeux decided that it was not enough to launch a dorm collection; they wanted to build a brand that stood for something more.
“We want to make more than beautiful dorm décor. We want to make a difference,” said Goodwyn.
The core component of the company’s mission is to encourage young women to start their own businesses and promote female entrepreneurship.
“Our goals are really very simplistic,” said Goodwyn. “Our décor is pretty with a purpose. We want to help reinvigorate the textile industry in the Carolinas, create jobs and give back.”
With those goals in mind, LeighDeux decided that a portion of their proceeds would go to fund scholarships for deserving students.
“When you shop LeighDeux, you are helping to further a young woman’s education,” Goodwyn said.
By Mary Moorefield