Melissa, Tricia and Valerie are co-founders of Ursa Major. Melissa is Head of Operations, Tricia is Head of Brand and Marketing and Valerie is Head of Design.
Melissa grew up in Canada and Portland where she was exposed to entrepreneurship at an early age. Hard work, discipline and focus were consistent themes as she went on to study political science and art history at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver BC Canada. Melissa entered the world of fashion and consumer goods from a marketing perspective as she pursued a digital marketing career working with brands like Gap, Microsoft, Samsung and lululemon. Combined with her constant exposure in manufacturing, the industry her family pursued, she takes a customer-centric approach in business operations. At Ursa Major, Melissa is able to manage all the finances, operations and keeps the train moving from her home office and local coffee shops around the Bay Area.
Tricia grew up in Sacramento CA and studied graphic design at San Jose State. After pursuing a successful career as a graphic designer at a corporate law firm, she spread her wings as a self-starter and entrepreneur to start an artisanal soy candle company, type.lites, and manage a lululemon store in San Francisco where she met Melissa. As Head of Brand and Marketing, Tricia established Ursa Major’s brand identity and is constantly inspired by product, process, and people to develop best-in-class marketing strategies.
Valerie was raised in Virginia and moved to Portland for her high school years. She is a wandering star having studied Apparel Design in London and Portland and now residing in Honolulu HI. As Head of Design, Valerie draws inspiration from her experiences traveling keeping a simplistic and utilitarian approach to her designs – easy, on-the-go while pursuing a contemporary twist to classic designs.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Ursa Major creates quality essentials that keep up with our everyday lives. We explore the use of natural fabrics and allow their technical qualities to inform our design. We design and create grab and go pieces that functions for how we live our lives today. You can sweat in it. You can wear it all day.
It being that over 90% of cotton seeds are now GMO and it takes over 700 gallons of water to make one t-shirt, we searched for a better way. We envision creating a world where we use the resources available to us. We seek to create beauty from our natural surroundings, make useful something that otherwise is considered useless. Today, we look at our world of depleting resources and we ask ourselves “what do we want to leave for our children?”.
Bamboo as an alternative fiber resource and textile is where Ursa Major will start its core collection of seasonless basics. Ursa Major as a team and as women reflect the strength and delicacy of bamboo in its fiber form and want to bring its soft-strength to people’s everyday lives. We are resourceful, creative and courageous. We see an opportunity for naturally technical fibers to revolutionize the way we see and use them today.
We partner with responsible manufacturers in the U.S. and deliver them direct to you. It is exactly what we want for ourselves and for the collective.
Naturally technical. Everyday style.
What is the purpose of this loan?
Over the past 6 months, we’ve been prototyping styles to kick off our core collection with the help of a diverse set of fit models. We now have our initial style offering! We are so excited about the styles we’ve chosen to move forward with and we’ve identified all necessary partners that make up our supply chain.
A Kiva loan will go directly towards the first production of these styles and start off our initial stock to sell. We’ll be launching our online store in October 2016 and we cannot wait to begin fulfilling orders and share our naturally technical essentials to the world.
Years in operation: 6 months – 1 year