In real life, Liz Kammel Tilatti’s idea for ZipFit Denim came during weekend carpools from Indianapolis to Chicago to attend Booth’s Weekend Program. Her fellow Booth travelers had a hard time finding jeans that fit them. Through her background selling jeans in high school and her work as a consultant, Liz knew she could solve the problem.
It was in her “MBA life” that she found the tools and inspiration to make it a reality. In particular, Building the New Venture, one of Booth’s prime entrepreneurship classes, inspired her to take the next steps. “I couldn’t sleep after class because I was so excited and I knew there was a way to do this,” she says. With that, Liz decided to move to Chicago and to take every entrepreneurship class Booth had to offer.
After her move, she went to Michigan Avenue to measure jeans – a lot of jeans – to compile all the data on fit, size, length, and brand. (We Boothies love our data.) With enough data, measurements, and over 100 potential customers taken on shopping trips, Liz launched ZipFit through the New Venture Challenge. From there, she opened a pop-up store in the Nordstrom mall. Those 100 initial customers is now thousands of customers – including some well-known names like the Chicago Cubs.
That paragraph makes it read like the transition to success was seamless, but Liz and her team worked extraordinarily hard, and as she says, there was a “ton of hustle.” Being a Weekend student with a day job and six hours in the car every weekend was only a preview of the hard and rewarding work to come.
Boothies continue to apply what they learn in class to their real lives, and the same is true with the community Booth teaches us to build. Liz has worked so hard to build an amazing company and to continuously give back to the Booth community that first allowed her to start ZipFit. She has hired five Booth interns, some of whom have stayed on as full-time hires. “Booth has been good to us. It goes both ways,” Liz shares.
It’s examples like Liz that inspire Boothies to apply what Booth teaches them, to pursue their dreams, and to give back to the community that has given us so much.
Read more about Liz Kammel Tilatti’s business journey