It’s been quite a year for Rachel Weeks.
About a year after her collegiate apparel company, School House, “in-shored” manufacturing from Sri Lanka back to the U.S. — the most radical business strategy change thus far of the company’s existence — the hard work has paid off with major recognition.
On Monday, word came that Rachel, 27, has been named one of Inc.’s 30 Under 30.
Inc.’s write-up gives kudos to Rachel for School House’s continued social mission amid the inshoring move, and notes a ‘game-changing’ deal with a major U.S. retailer, which we’ve also heard of but, unfortunately, can’t reveal who it is just yet.
Here’s a hint. Rachel says it’s “a national retailer across approximately 50 locations.” An announcement is forthcoming in the next month.
Take a look at what Rachel has done with School House in the past five years.
2007-2008: Using the socially conscious ethos she developed at Duke University and as a Fulbright Scholar, as well as a $20,000 settlement from a car accident, Rachel lays the groundwork for School House and decides to pay Sri Lankan workers three times the average wage.
2009-2011: Begin selling in four universities: Duke, UNC, Harvard, Yale. Sign a deal with Barnes & Noble. Expand to 100 college bookstores, including one in Canada.
2011: Move manufacturing back to the U.S., begin contracting with the last textile factory of Durham, Mitt’s Nitts, and many others throughout the state’s beleaguered textile industry, including factories in Wendell, Greensboro and Wilson.
2012: Get named to 30 Under 30 by Inc. Take on national retail.
“I have read the Inc. 30 under 30 list every year, so it’s truly exciting to be a part of it,” Rachel said. “It’s also nice to feel that our company is being recognized for the work we are doing and the media seems to be responding to the Made in America movement.”