June 22, 2021
When University of Missouri law student Georgiana Gnibus started her company, Rad By Design, her friends joked that she was building a “tube top empire.” Now, after selling hundreds of original designs to both men and women via Instagram — and winning more than $2,000 in seed funding — Gnibus is poised to open her first brick-and-mortar store in the MU Student Center this August.
Gnibus participated in MU’s 4impact social entrepreneurship program sponsored by Veterans United Home Loans. The program is open to students at all four University of Missouri System universities and helps develop business ideas through mentorship, workshops and potential seed funding.
During the spring 2020 semester, Gnibus was among eight 4impact finalists who competed in a pitch event to win up to $5,000 in seed funding. The judges awarded $4,100 in funding to Gnibus and a UMKC student for having the most promising ventures with a social good mission.
Gnibus, who specializes in transforming used clothing and textiles into unique pieces, started her business several years ago to unite her creativity with a passion for sustainability.
“Upcycling is when you take something old, damaged or discarded and you make something completely new and original,” Gnibus said. “I love doing this because not only am I reducing textile waste and making something one-of-a-kind, but I’m always putting monetary gains back into the community.”
At the start of the fall semester, shoppers can stop by the Rad By Design store, which will be located in the Griggs Innovators Nexus in the MU Student Center. A grand opening with speakers and tours is scheduled at 4 p.m. Sept. 14.