MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (WCAX) Born and raised in Norwich, this young businesswoman learned how to sew in her home economics class in seventh-grade. Instead of following in her family's ski tracks, she's stitched her way down a new trail thanks to hoods that are Made in Vermont. Here's our Scott Fleishman.
Entering Middlebury College, Eva Shaw never saw herself as an entrepreneur. She was a two-sport star, guarding the goal for the women's soccer team and competing as a downhill ski racer. Unfortunately, the dreams of racing professionally ended several years ago after a devastating knee injury.
"It was definitely a dark time on my life, you know? Like, letting go of that dream of being a professional and following in my dad's footsteps is pretty challenging," Eva said.
Her father is Tiger Shaw, a former two-time Olympian and current president of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association.
"I'm proud of her. She's really forged a brand there and they're doing well," dad Tiger said.
That brand for the polyester-based faux fur hoods is called Overeasy.
"I wanted something fuzzy and warm that also looked good to go skiing in," Eva explained.
People started to ask her about the first hood she made for herself. The next thing you know she's sewing them to sell. She spent a lot of time sewing while recovering from her knee injury in 2016.
Eva Shaw: So there's a hood and a face panel and two drawstrings.
Reporter Scott Fleishman: So you can wear this over a helmet?
Eva Shaw: Yeah.
Eva took an entrepreneur class on campus a year ago taught by the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies or VCET.
"That really gave me the belief in the business and we really had something," she said.
From there, Eva reached out to the community, hiring a handful of local seamstresses to sew the hoods. They're retired preschool teachers or dairy farmers. She also enlisted the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory to cut fabric.
"This press is 34,000 pounds and that's three full-grown elephants. The furs are really high quality. They just look great and they cut pretty easy, so it works great," said Larry Rushford of the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.
"What I love about it is how tied to the community I am now," Eva said.
Overeasy comes in two types: the mountain line and the lifestyle line. There are four different colors for each line. The hoods cost $60 and can be ordered through the company website or can be purchased in stores throughout the state, especially at the popular ski destinations.
"I don't know how she does it, burning the midnight oil, figuring out how to manufacture them, distribute them. In school, finals, midterms and, oh, yeah, soccer team," Tiger said.
"When you get to make people smile and make them really happy when they put on something so cozy and warm as an Overeasy, that feeling over and over doesn't get old," Eva said.
A college student covering her despair of losing a pro career with cozy comfort.