Unbound Woman of the Week: Helya Mohammadian, Slick Chicks Founder
Unbound got a chance to chat with Helya Mohammadian, founder of Slick Chicks, an underwear company dedicated to providing comfort for every kind of woman. Slick Chicks undies are specially constructed to aid on-the-go women and to empower women with physical constraints. Helya is another Unbound Woman that's gonna change the world!!
Why did you start Slick Chicks?
When I first launched Slick Chicks I didn't realize that the product would be impactful or have the potential to change someone's life. I originally thought of the concept out of pure necessity, when I found myself wanting a quick change and a fresh pair of undies after an intense sweat session–we've all been there. It wasn't until I started receiving thank you messages from women who were wheelchair users that I realized how many women could benefit from these underwear.
With the easy-to-remove side fasteners, women can change their underwear comfortably in on-the-go situations. This eliminates the hassle of having to search for a private changing space. I wanted the design to help women maintain their dignity and confidence while juggling all of their daily responsibilities.
What’s crazy is that over 53 million women live with a permanent disability in America alone, which is something fashion cannot ignore any longer. I don’t think it is right that a market that caters to women exists mostly for those of us that are able bodied. There are so many ways to bridge the gap between fashion and function, and I'm so excited that Slick Chicks is now one of them. I've learned that ideas for innovation can stem from reconsidering the things we take for granted every day.
Why do women need your product?
Everyday women face challenges in their lives that can hinder their morale and productivity. We believe that what we put on our bodies should not be one of them. You'd be surprised at how much of an impact the basics can have on your everyday life. For women with physical constraints that make changing difficult, our undies can help them maintain their dignity by being able to change easily and on their own. Slick Chicks gives back that spirit to boost women up and make them feel even more empowered.
What did you do before starting the company?
Before Slick Chicks, I was an Assistant Personal Shopper at Bergdorf Goodman; working with famous celebrities, well-known socialites, and the “who’s who” of New York’s Upper East Side. I graduated from F.I.T., so a career in fashion felt like a natural fit for me. But something was always missing. I slowly felt my passion fade away when I found myself surrounded by so many material things. In the end, my unhappiness was a blessing in disguise because it led me to create this company.
What is the best thing about being a female entrepreneur?
The best part of being an entrepreneur is that I can honestly say what I have created is something I whole heartedly believe in. And the fulfillment I get from helping other women makes this crazy journey well worth it. That’s why I've made it my mission to create a product that can improve the quality of someone’s life.
What has been your biggest roadblock?
I get this question a lot from other female entrepreneurs. It was kind of refreshing because I realized that I wasn’t alone. The biggest road block for me has been an emotional one, in that I felt self-doubt and not good enough. I felt that if I failed at something people would look at me differently and that pressure was emotionally crippling at times. Was I a phony or a fake because on the outside I would mask everything, but inside I was living in fear??? So I learned (and am still learning) that it’s OK to be vulnerable and to make mistakes. I can’t beat myself up over a failure or rejection because it is ALL a learning process.
What do you do in the morning to pump you up?
It all starts with prepping the night before. I make a list of what I can effectively accomplish the next day, so I wake up more pumped up and anxious to tackle these goals. Otherwise, I would wake up and forget why I was motivated in the first place.
How do you stay motivated and grounded?
What keeps me grounded is the passion that propelled me forward and kept me going through all the dark times. I think that sometimes we don’t value our passion enough. That is what motivated me to become an entrepreneur in the first place. I know that, personally, I’ve gotten so caught up in the “entrepreneurial life” that I had to take a step back and remember that experiences with people are far more important than just money and profit. A great piece of advice I recently received was to stay humble in my attitude and be caring in my actions.
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