October 2020 Alumnae Voices: South Bend Startup Scene
Still Here: Applying My Arts and Letters Degree to the South Bend Startup Scene
by Camille Zyniewicz ‘19
Did you know there are more than 40 locally-owned women's clothing boutiques in Northern Indiana? Before getting involved with Viewtique, a retail website featuring locally-owned women’s fashion boutiques in Northern Indiana, I didn’t either!
During my senior year, I had the great fortune to meet co-founders (and brothers) Mike and Chris Cali (Chris has a BS and MS from ND). I pitched Viewtique alongside them at the 2019 McCloskey New Venture Competition hosted by the Notre Dame IDEA Center, and today I’m proud to be one of the four co-founders of Viewtique. Our mission is to make local fashion boutiques more accessible online to shoppers in the area. The experience has opened up a whole new world to me -- one that was always right here in my own backyard.
My partners and I love shopping at local stores, but (like you might relate to) we found it difficult to quickly understand what’s available in our area and when we'd receive it. We created Viewtique so that you easily see what's available in your preferred fit, style, and budget at all of the locally-owned boutiques near South Bend. Like so many other small businesses, local fashion boutiques are feeling the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, so we feel our mission is more important than ever.
The College of Arts and Letters invites Notre Dame students to “Study everything” and “Do anything.” I’m a South Bend native with a newly minted B.A. in Visual Communication Design. The technical graphic design skills that I thought would surely be my end game are only complimentary to the invaluable creative problem solving and design thinking skills that I developed over the course of my undergrad.
I’m grateful for a degree that pushes you to explore the “why” questions, as well an ND network that continues to grow in its exploration of my home town South Bend and all that it has to offer.