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  • Darya Filippova

Sustainability and Advocacy: Sarah Rice’s Beeware Apparel

Sarah Rice (‘24), left, and her mom at the Beeware Apparel launch day / Credits: Sarah Rice

Walls has a student body of passionate individuals who find opportunities outside of school to support their inspirations. Sarah Rice (‘24) has started her own business: Beeware Apparel, an online clothing and accessories store with in-person events. Rice has used her business to creatively advocate solutions to pressing global issues, specifically climate change.

She is passionate about climate change and has placed it at the heart of her business. Beeware Apparel produces eco-friendly material that is ethically sourced. She hopes to educate individuals about environmental awareness through the fashion industry.

Rice fi rst began developing the idea for her business while in a social and emotional learning program called Tumaini D.C. The program challenged Rice to create a business plan, and she “[decided] to focus on something [she] would be passionate about.” Though it started out as a small project, at the end Rice was surprised to learn that she had “actually created a company.”

The entire process from start to finish took six months. Rice started working in July 2022 by drafting ideas for a possible business, and in December, launched her business. For many entrepreneurs, six months from conception to launch is not the typical timeline. Rice received financial support from her mother and the program itself to “expedite the process.” But it wasn’t until August that her plans turned into reality. Rice was given an opportunity to pitch her idea during a competition within the program, placing 2nd and winning $7,000 towards the creation of her business.

Rice encountered many ups and downs with the creation of Beeware Apparel. In the fall, the added workload from school and extracurriculars limited the time available to devote to her business.

“The biggest struggle was maintaining motivation while balancing entrepreneurship, academics, and my extracurriculars,” Rice said. She often found herself going to her support systems when feeling overwhelmed.

“[My friend Kamtoya] was there for every breakdown and panic and she’s definitely been my rock through this … My mom was also a huge support,” Rice said. She also credits her mentor from Tumaini and the people she met at a business academy for their continuous support throughout the process.

While creating Beeware Apparel, Rice attended the Future Mogul Business Academy where she met many fellow young entrepreneurs who were able to provide her with support and resources for her business. From this opportunity, Rice was able to legalize and register her business and open a business bank account.

Rice’s proudest moment was launching her business at the Museum D.C., a retail boutique that aims to promote aspiring artists and small businesses. Though she was nervous, the excitement of presenting her final product to the public made her realize that “[she] actually survived” the process. Rice said that the amount she had learned that day and the relief she felt made it worth all the effort she had put into her product. After her business was launched at the Museum D.C., Rice shipped her first online order and graduated from the business academy; she also held her first solo pop-up event on the same day.

Rice advised any aspiring entrepreneurs at Walls to “remember that you are human and you’re allowed to ask for help.” She stressed the value of support systems as the people within her circle have helped her when she felt like everything was “falling apart.” Additionally, she emphasized being passionate because “late nights will absolutely feel worthless if there is no passion behind what you are doing.”

Students can support Rice’s business on Instagram at @shopbeewareapparel or her website

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