MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University students in the fashion, dress and merchandising program will benefit thanks to a new scholarship established by program alumna and a textiles industry entrepreneur, Amy Bircher. The Amy Bircher and MMI Textiles Scholarship is an endowed fund that will support FDM students who show strong academic promise.
Bircher is the founder and president of MMI Textiles, Inc. based just outside of Cleveland, Ohio.
Graduating in 1993 from the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design, Bircher went into the family business of textiles, working for her father and stepmother, Jim and Karen Bircher at National Dye Works in South Carolina. Four years later she founded MMI Textiles, Inc., with the letters representing “Me, Myself, and I”.
That independent ethos has aided Amy ever since.
Since establishing the company in 1997 as a manufacturer’s representative for textiles, the company now has over 600 customers worldwide and 17 employees. MMI offers a growing number of product lines for both commercial and military customers. She has also gone on to file her own patent for the creation of CTEdge®, a concealed technology used in webbing and tape for the military and law enforcement markets.
Bircher and her company have garnered recognition for its entrepreneurial success. She has won Weatherhead 100 for four years in a row. She was recognized as a 2016 and 2017 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist for the Northeast Ohio Region and a Progressive Entrepreneur by Smart Women Business Magazine in 2017. She also received certificate of completion with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. Bircher is currently the 2nd vice chairman for the Industrial Fabrics Association International and chairman of its foundation, Industrial Fabrics Foundation.
Bircher established the scholarship to give back and encourage young students to strive.
“The scholarship was established due to my love for WVU and a passion to help students who need financial assistance, and are deserving of scholarship money due to hard work and support to their community,” Bircher said.
Success for Bircher comes down to being your authentic self, a hard worker, surrounding yourself with a good team and being open to new ideas and ways of doing things. She hopes her gift will help other industrious and entrepreneurial FDM students.
“Ms. Bircher’s generous gift will help our FDM students thrive and grow,” said Debanjan Das , interim FDM program director and assistant professor of Fashion, Dress, and Merchandising. “The permanent scholarship will impact our students for years to come. We are extremely thankful for what this opportunity will do for our talented students.”
For more information on how to support WVU’s FDM program and other WVU Davis College programs, contact Andrew S. Barnes, associate director of development for WVU Davis College.
CONTACT: Andrew S. Barnes, Associate Director of Development