Young entrepreneur, female founder and winner of the Lansing Youth Startup Challenge, Samantha White has a lot going for her, including a startup aimed at feeding the passions of women hunters. From a camo clothing line to a blog that will connect, share and teach, Huntress Heaven aims to promote a lifestyle and connect those living it.
The Problem Being Solved:
Huntress Heaven is trying to fill the hole in the market for women’s camo apparel. They also want to help inspire more women to hunt and encourage them to stick with it by giving them a blog that will let them connect, share, and learn with other women like them.
Where the Idea Came From:
While Samantha didn’t come from a family that hunted or really lived the country lifestyle, when she was fifteen she connected to a group of friends that did. After tagging along on her first deer hunting trip, she was inspired to get her hunting license. Her passion grew from there and she gained a bow and started looking around for camo clothing. During her search, she had a hard time finding exactly what she was looking for, even on the internet. After that, she was hooked on the idea of trying to start a company that would sell what she envisioned.
Samantha says that seeing the rise in women hunters in the industry is truly the most exciting thing for her.
Their target customer is any outdoors woman that wants a fashionable, camo print to wear away from the woods. “Not only women,” says Samantha, “but outdoorsmen that would like to see their wives or girlfriends rocking the camo print.”
Samantha’s biggest challenge so far has been finding the right material in order to start production. She needs a camo material that is a slightly stretchy cotton and finding it has been more difficult than she thought it would be. But, Samantha has utilized local resources and has a meeting set up with The Runway who will hopefully be able to assist her in finding what she needs.
Samantha has been surprised by how helpful and supportive everyone has been throughout her journey. “I would not be anywhere near where I am today if it wasn’t for the mentors and kind words of encouragement I have received in this process.”
Samantha has taken part in two entrepreneurship competitions and has found success and funding from both. In the first, for High School students in Clinton County, for high school students in the Clinton County, Samantha took home first place with her business plan and presentation. She won an LCC scholarship worth $1,000 that she will put towards furthering an education that will help her start and run her business. The second competition, the Lansing Youth Startup Challenge held by LEAP, earned Samantha the prize for best business plan worth $500, third place in the Hatching portion, worth $750, and overall grand champion which is worth $1,000. The money won at the Startup Challenge will be put towards the start of Huntress Heaven.
In one year, Samantha hopes to build Huntress Heaven’s blog, have satisfied customers and connect with an organization within the community. She also hopes to build a relationship with a popular female hunter.
Over the next few years, she hopes to grow steadily and launch mobile shopping, host multiple charity events and forge partnerships with major retailers in order to sell their products in stores.
Samantha would urge any young or new entrepreneurs not to give up. “You can never be too young, I’m only 18 and starting this business that I thought was impossible two years ago.” She also encourages entrepreneurs to ask questions. “There are so many people in the world willing to help you get on your feet and point you in the direction you need to go. Take as many business classes as you can in high school if you are young… But mainly, have a passion for what you want to do, no matter what it is.”