Valerie Mayen

Valerie Mayén

Founder, Owner & Lead Designer, Yellowcake Shop Clothing Company, a signature line of handmade, socially responsible women’s outerwear and accessories with a mission to alleviate social issues and environmental challenges here and abroad.

Northeast Ohio native or transplant?


Why the Northeast Ohio Region?

Unwavering support. The community rallied behind me even when I didn’t win a reality show (“Project Runway”); when I started a business. During the pandemic, we had to flip our entire business model from in person to online. People sent us emails to say: “How can we help?”, “What do you need?”, or “I’ll buy 5 of those!” … that grassroots support keeps us going. It’s really special.

Business incubators.  The Cleveland area has one of the highest rates of small business incubators to small businesses – especially compared to large cities like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, or Chicago. Small businesses can stay here and grow here. It’s less challenging to get the support you need.

Financial opportunities. The region offers unique opportunities for capital funding, grant money, or programs with non-repayable loans. The Cleveland Foundation, for example, is one of only a few of its kind in the U.S. and allows small businesses to engage with them as a fiscal sponsor.

Progress. Cleveland is on the come up. There are a lot of cool initiatives and development. These things drive community, progress, and commerce. And with that comes people, universities, and growth. 

Fit. The region is like your favorite pair of jeans … it will never go out of style.

Perfect day in the Northeast Ohio Region?

I’d get some morning sewing time in the studio with my daughter, followed by a good lakefront run with my friend Sandra. In the fall, my family and I would spend the day at an apple farm (Patterson’s or Mapleside Farms), then head to Mitchell’s or Mason’s for ice cream, and finish with a drive-in movie.The region is like your favorite pair of jeans … it will never go out of style.

Meet more people.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Nationally renowned amenities – plus an affordable cost of living.