77 Idea Lab: Alina Ladewig

By: Hunter Mylek

Who is Alina Ladewig?

Alina is a Sophomore at Grand Valley State University, double majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship with a minor in Spanish. She is the CEO Club president and a promotions officer in the Econ Club. She is a student entrepreneur and the creator of ExpressU.

What is ExpressU?

ExpressU is a clothing brand that launched in January of 2021, “I wanted to create a storefront that people would want to buy from because they like the brand, style and everything we stand for. My business is unique because the pieces I choose to sell on my Shopify website are items that I myself would wear!”

What inspired your ideas?

“I love clothing and helping people find the right clothes that makes them feel comfortable and trendy for an affordable price. I’ve had a hard time in the past finding clothing that fits me right and is the right price, so I wanted to create a brand that works on those hardships. I also wanted to create a brand that focuses on customer service for young women which is why I’m always available over my Instagram dm, @shopexpressu. I really wanted to make my customer feel as if they’re shopping in person and can ask any questions then receive a direct answer right away. Lately, online shopping has been growing, therefore I created my store online through Shopify”

What do you hope to achieve through the 77 Idea Lab?

“I’m hoping to take my brand to the next level. It’d be great to be able to have another pair of eyes looking at my work or even a mentor to guide me through giving my brand what it needs to be more successful. Already I’m so excited because 77 Idea Labs Tom Coke has found me a mentor with Shopify and all the other students in the accelerator are very interactive so I’ll definitely be receiving lots of feedback on the way my brand is structured. I’m always open to change. Overall, being in a community of like minded people is something I’m super excited about”

If you are interested in joining the 77 Idea lab in the future all you need is a passion for a problem that is worth solving. The 77 Idea Lab will help develop the idea and business around the problem through one-on-one mentoring, workshops, with a chance to get a $1,000 grant.

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