Meet the Philadelphia Sustainable Fashion Maker That Recruits From Halfway Houses and Prisons |

Kimberly McGlonn knows the power of a good story.

In July, the education PhD and English teacher-turned-entrepreneur won first prize in the Small Biz Challenge, hosted by Inc. and the UPS Store. In doing so, she secured $25,000 for her company, Grant Blvd, a Philadelphia-based sustainable ­apparel startup that makes and sells upcycled clothing and accessories. And what set her apart in the competition was universal–deft improvisational skills and fluency with her business and its mission.

“It’s about owning your ‘why’ and using your business to align with your life and your sense of purpose,” McGlonn says. “Not only will you attract people who respect what you’re aspiring to build, but you’ll attract loyal customers as well.”

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