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Horn Entrepreneurship

Maker Pants: Overalls That Protect

Congratulations to our 2023 Fall Pitch Party winner, Jenna Tomasch.  Jenna is a junior here at UD, with a double major in Fashion Design and Product Innovation and minors in Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Apparel, Textile Innovation, and Functional Wearable Design. She also has a creative making entrepreneurship certificate. Jenna won this year's pitch party with her innovation, “Maker Pants”.

“Maker pants are one size fits most overalls that people can wear overtop of their clothing, protecting themselves or their clothing from potentially hazardous or messy situations,” shared Tomasch. 

The pants are primarily used for the purpose of going to lab classes or for people who frequent woodshops or art studios. They are different than normal overalls because they are meant to be worn overtop of clothing and they are a one size fits most model, adjustable to many body types. Her idea was originally thought up in one of her fashion classes when she was tasked with solving a small everyday problem that she or other people deal with, and then expanded on further in her entrepreneurship class when she was again tasked to solve a problem. Following that moment, Jenna recognized the potential for "Maker Pants" to become a tangible reality and made the decision to present her concept at the Fall Pitch Party.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Pitch Party, Jenna explained it to me how she explained it to her parents, “It was kind of like Shark Tank where you go out and you talk about a venture, an idea, a product, and you just kind of pitch it to these three judges. And then they go off and they decide, between yours and other people pitches”. Though Jenna won the Pitch Party contest in the end, she says she was still nervous before she pitched her idea. “As I'm walking up,  I get in front of the judges, and one of them compliments my outfit… I'm wearing my pants. I'm like, wow, thank you, she loved it. I said, thank you, just wait a second. And then I click my slide and the slide comes up,  with the pants, and she said, ‘Wow’, and so, at that moment, it was a little bit easier for me to continue on.”, says Jenna.The confidence she gained from the judges already liking her venture before they even knew what it was helped give her courage to deliver a persuasive pitch and earn her 1st place.

When asking Jenna how she got into entrepreneurship, she mentioned how she has  been entrepreneurial her whole life and has always wanted to have her own businesses. Her first business was in sophomore year of highschool where Jenna ran what she described as a “scrunchie empire”.  Her outlook on entrepreneurship is something different than what is traditionally taught in school, her approach is to just do it. “There's two types of entrepreneurship, there's the one that they kind of teach a little bit more, investigative entrepreneurship, the one where you do research first, and you do stuff. And then there's also the JUST DO IT approach. And honestly, with little things, I say, Just do it. Just like, just start selling something”, she mentioned.  As she follows the “Just Do It” approach, Jenna says she will always be entrepreneurial and run some kind of business. In the future, she says she would like to get more into the functional design space and continue to solve problems within the fashion industry. 

Besides the coursework for her multiple majors and minors, Jenna is also involved in a multitude of clubs and activities. She is the PR chair for an improv club, assists in running an engineering club called Maker Club, designs for a fashion magazine on campus, and is part of the environmental fraternity Epsilon Eta. In addition, she makes and sells her own jewelry and clothing. Furthermore, Jenna is also partaking in a four plus one program for apparel design. Finally, Jenna  works at the Pearson Homemaker Space, where she can combine all of her interests and passions “I love making things. I love helping people. And so my job is to help people make things”. 

With a Pitch Party win under her belt and a working prototype, Jenna is primed to make an impact on the functional design industry. As she navigates her own unique entrepreneurial journey, we at Horn Entrepreneurship are excited to see what outcomes she can achieve with Maker Pants and more.

About Horn Entrepreneurship

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement at the University of Delaware. Currently ranked among the best entrepreneurship programs in the US, Horn Entrepreneurship was built and is actively supported by successful entrepreneurs, empowering aspiring innovators as they pursue new ideas for a better world.

Topics: students, pitching, innovation, pitch party