Student trio designs own clothes label

Freshmen Pia Varma, Jessica Crowell and Erin Devine are not just roommates in Thurston Hall, they are business partners. The three entrepreneurs have launched their own clothing company, Jeria, named after the surnames of its founders.

Jeria Wear is a line of chic clothing created by and for GW students, Varma said.

The idea behind Jeria Wear is that women can look professional while still looking fun, funky and elegant, Varma said. With their clothing, the three entrepreneurs want to create an attitude. Varma said all women can be dominant, cool, creative, trendy and sexy, and the goal of Jeria Wear is to reveal these qualities in women.

“We are targeting a hip-hop, trendy but chic audience,” Devine said. “We have found that other designers have ignored this audience. Jeria wants to embrace it.”

Responsibility of running Jeria Wear is equally split between the three women. Varma handles the administrative side of the company while Devine is in charge of advertising, public relations and writing for the Web site, and Crowell designs the fashions.

Varma said inspiration for the clothing line came from a bright pink tie-dyed shirt Crowell wore under a black blazer one day.

“We thought that the contradiction was unique, fun and still very professional,” Varma said.

When Crowell said she made the shirt and a few other articles of clothing, the idea to make a company was born, Varma said.

Varma, originally from Beverly Hills, Calif., said she noticed D.C. fashion is conservative compared to the casual and funky styles found in California. Varma said she wanted to create a company that would target college-aged women.

Varma, Crowell and Devine used “man on the street” interviews to get feedback on their clothing, and most feedback has been positive, Varma said.

The Jeria Wear clothing line is restricted to T-shirts now, but the women said they plan to branch out to other types of clothing. The entrepreneurs predict their T-shirts will be trendy this spring.

The T-shirts, ranging from crazy tie-dyes to the girly-punk styles reminiscent of the ’80s and ironed on images of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe cost between $20 and $25.

The Thurston Hall roommates said they are confident Jeria Wear will catch on in the GW community. They say their key to success is that they are such good friends that they have no problem telling each other what they want to do with the company or what they think is good or bad for the business.

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