CJ Riggins will put her 20 years of fashion industry experience to the test in this year’s CSU Collegiate Challenge on April 27.
The Design and Merchandising graduate student hopes to win the business pitch competition for the chance to learn from experts and accelerate her unique athletic apparel business.
“I truly love this field and knew this was where I was meant to work since I was very young,” she said.
She has worked with companies like Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret, Mercantile, Belk and Adidas-Salomon. After working with these large companies, Riggins saw a need and decided to start her own apparel company.
“I began to see a recurring theme with all my prior companies,” said Riggins. “We were making lots of beautiful apparel, but for a very narrow segment of the population.” As a response to the lack of quality, plus-sized performance athletic apparel currently available, Riggins created Roar Sport. The intention of Roar Sport is to empower and fill the sports apparel needs of plus-size women through proper fit and materials that work for the athlete.
“Design is about solving problems,” said Riggins. “Roar Sport is doing just this for a segment of the population that has been underserved for many years.”
Riggins strives to provide a comfortable, concern-free athletic experience for her customers. She does this by using textiles that go beyond adornment and are functional.
Currently starting her business on a shoestring, Riggins recognizes how helpful an award from the competition could be toward her anticipated spring 2017 launch. The winner will receive a cash award of $20,000. She hopes to reap the benefits of expert input and the opportunity to accelerate her business through the CSU Collegiate Challenge.
Regardless of a monetary award, she looks forward to feedback from mentors unrelated to her industry and knows the experience will be incredibly beneficial.
“In an attempt to make sure we miss nothing with our business and launch plans, I thought it was a win/win regardless of the outcome,” she said.
You can see Riggins pitch her vision for Roar Sport to a panel of judges Wednesday morning, April 27. The Collegiate Challenge is in the Institute for Entrepreneurship in the CSU College of Business. Find out more and RSVP at www.csucollegiatechallenge.org.
The Department of Design and Merchandising is in the College of Health and Human Sciences at CSU.