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Sage Awards $20,000 to Eco-Friendly Fashion Company

November 10, 2009

Atlanta-based Indie Peace, a socially conscious fashion line, was named the winner of a small businesses contest sponsored by Sage.

The Start-Up Cash Contest aims to help entrepreneurs turn their business dreams into reality.

Contest participants were challenged to create a brief video commercial for their business idea or less than two-year-old new business, along with their business plan and a brief essay. Based on online votes, the 20 most popular videos advanced to a final judging round. Videos, business plans and essays were then evaluated by a team of small business experts.

Indie Peace, within two weeks of posting its video on YouTube, received just over 10,000 votes, according to founder Lawton Ursrey.

Ursrey has an interesting story as to how he became an entrepreneur. An information technology major, he landed a gig with Cerner Corp in London and then PricewaterhouseCoopers in Atlanta after graduation. Disillusioned by corporate America and faced with the untimely death of his father, Ursrey realized that he was not doing what he thought he should, even though he knew he had a great job.

So he decided to go after his passion. He started to experiment with fashion photography and then took his art further. He wanted to put designs on clothing — but not just any clothing. It was important to Ursrey that his designs be socially responsible and environmentally friendly. Within eight months, his line was picked up and sold by Nordstrom.

Just two years old and run out of a friend’s basement, Ursrey’s Indie Peace uses organic domestic fabrics, low-impact dyes and water-based inks to design his fashions. His company’s mantra? Make a mark without leaving one.

Aside from the $20,000, Ursrey won Peachtree by Sage, Act! by Sage, Timeslips by Sage and Business Plan Pro software from Palo Alto Software, to assist in managing his business.

“I am so honored and humbled to be selected as the winner,” he said. “These times are extremely challenging for new businesses, and we at Indie Peace are grateful to Sage for helping to make a difference in the lives of entrepreneurs. This contest will help accelerate our success and allow us to make even more of a positive impact on the world.”

Ursrey said he plans to use the money to drive online sales, fill current orders and strategize on the Indie Peace business plan — which he already had before the contest — for the next few years.

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