RI women help each other achieve success in business

By R.J. Heim

Seventy-five women who individually saw a need for particular products and turned their visions into small businesses have banded together to help each other so they can all become successful.

"Wouldn't it be great if we could connect with more awesome women who are doing awesome things in Providence because we know they exist but how do you find them?" said Julie Sygiel, founder of "Dear Kate."

With friend and entrepreneur Sierra Barter, who went to Johnson & Wales University and started a personal life consulting firm called Clementine Lime, they co-founded the PVD Lady Project.

"As women, as social people, we want to have a glass of champagne and talk about what's happening but also talk about our business and our struggles and our accomplishments," Barter said.

Sygiel now calls Providence home. She went to Brown University and as part of an entrepreneurial class, she came up with the idea to make women's performance underwear.

"We've had a ton of pre-orders, responses from people internationally," Sygiel said. "We're really excited."

Wednesday was the first day of shipping at Dear Kate, run by Sygiel, one of 75 local entrepreneurial women in Rhode Island who are part of the PVD Lady Project. It just may be the economic engine to turn the local economy around.

Susan Mocarski couldn't find a stylish, durable made-in-the-USA poncho, so she developed the Cleverhood.

"I actually have reflective stripping from Cranston, Rhode Island Eventually, I'd love to see this actually sewn in Providence," Mocarski said.

Kristin Crane is a designer and manager at Craftland and a member of the PVD Lady Project, lending her experience to the up and coming.

"There's a great strength in women being among women. So, I think it's a great idea," Crane said.

All of these products and more can be found on the PVD Lady Project website.

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