Emiko ’19 combined her love of fashion with her environmental activism to create a website called Unicycle, a platform that makes buying uniforms more affordable for students.
Emi’s decision to create a company in the form of an online database was sparked by her love of Depop, an online peer-to-peer social shopping application. This platform for buying and selling clothing led Emi to establish a website with a similar process of donating and buying used uniforms online.
“I have sold clothing on Depop since I was a freshman, so I am very familiar with this way of exchanging used goods,” Emi said.
In her sophomore year at Marlborough, Emi enrolled in the Entrepreneurship class. Though the course was designed to last a semester, she became deeply interested in the class and decided to continue it for the rest of the year. Assistant Division Director and Dean of Student Life Regina Rosi-Mitchell taught Emi during her sophomore year and has now become a mentor and advocate for Unicycle.
“There have been Marlborough students through the years who have launched a business, but Emi is the first student who I taught in 10th grade who now is launching her venture,” Rosi-Mitchell said.
During the summer of 2018, Emi took part in a six-week entrepreneurship program called Quarter Zero, where she traveled to San Francisco, Chicago and New York to work with a team in order to bring Unicycle to fruition.
“I had a team of three girls to work with me over the summer,” Emi said. “We learned about product evaluation and how to make a business model. By the end of the summer, we had a demo day where we had to pitch to investors in New York, and my team ended up winning the overall best start-up.”
Emi hopes to expand “Unicycle” by partnering with schools that will participate in the donation of used uniforms.
“Unicycle has become near and dear to my heart, and I would love to see the problems that manufacturing uniforms has on the environment be solved, as well as make going to school a more equitable experience for students on financial support,” Emi said.