Founder of the Week: Melina Flabiano

If you only learn one thing from Melina, it should be that…

Done is better than perfect! Don’t be afraid to put your ideas or products out into the world just because they’re not perfect. Giving your customers the opportunity to react early can be extremely valuable insight for you as an entrepreneur. There’s a lot of wiggle room in the early days of a startup, and getting feedback can guide you to improve later.

During a successful career in retail, Melina Flabiano noticed something that bother her: her workwear. Some of them were not machine washable; some had pockets so unreasonably small they were practically useless, if any at all; some wrinkled after a long flight. She was definitely not the only one who ran into these issues — most women echoed her frustration with having to choose between functional or fashionable workwear. So Melina turned these pain points into her startup, Keaton.

Keaton is the solution to women’s workwear problems. Its first product, a pair of thoughtfully designed work pant whose design is informed by interviewing 300+ professional females, solves all the issues that products currently on the market have. It’s machine washable, it has large pockets, and it doesn’t wrinkle. This means that a woman no longer has to spend a lot of money  on dry cleaning or show up to a meeting with wrinkled clothes. Keaton’s work pants strive to be both a functional, stylish, and reliable staple in a working woman’s closet. Finally, it’s an article of clothing designed by women, for women.

Being any entrepreneur is challenging, but for student entrepreneurs especially, the leap from idea to action can be even more difficult. Ideas may be easy to generate, but when is an idea worthy of pursuit? For Melina, her confidence in Keaton came from large amounts of thorough consumer and industry research. Her participation in WeissLab Accelerator’s Fall cohort last semester allowed her to pave tremendous progress, and she is currently part of the VIP Xcelerate program as well. Keaton has officially launched about three weeks ago, and their pants are now available for purchase at wearkeaton.com. Other exciting upcoming events for Keaton include on-campus trunk shows and the beginning of fundraising for its first round of pre-seed investments.