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Empowering style: Moore School IMBA alumna elevates women’s professional apparel brand with $4 million in investment funds

Sali Christeson has combined her innate entrepreneurial talent with skills she learned at the Darla Moore School of Business to shake up the women’s workwear world. Argent – her affordable, comfortable and bold apparel line – aims to “dropkick the glass ceiling.” And it is getting national and celebrity attention.

Living in Los Angeles and traveling the country to promote Argent, Christeson (’12 International MBA) is a long way from the Hardeeville, South Carolina, farm where she grew up, but that is where the seeds of her business acumen were planted. As a kindergartner, she said all she wanted was her own stapler and her own desk.

Christeson, who recently came to the Moore School to deliver the orientation keynote to incoming MBA students, was an entrepreneur before she could even pronounce the word.

At 5 years old, “she was so determined at anything she did,” said Christensen’s mother, Sarah Jane Sumer, who accompanied her to Columbia for the orientation. “She had a piggy bank business and a lemonade stand. She’s always been a little entrepreneur.”

This drive is what allowed Christeson to take her idea for a womenswear company and turn it into a brand recently featured in InStyle and Vogue Business and on Yahoo Finance and CNN. In February, the 11-staff company received $4 million in investment funds through Founders Fund, which invests in “companies building revolutionary technologies” and whose portfolio contains Facebook, Airbnb and Spotify. Argent backers also include Stitch Fix chief executive officer and founder Katrina Lake, renowned investor Sonja Perkins, tennis champion Andy Roddick and actress Brooklyn Decker.  Read the full article here.

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