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Kansas City District Office Success Stories

Kansas City District Office Success Stories

Audrey Spirit

AudreySpirit LLC is an inspiring business born out of passion, need, and love. In 2011, Donna Yadrich lost her beloved 15-year-old daughter, Audrey Grace, from complications of serious medical problems. Although appreciative of the tremendous care Audrey received during her countless hospitalizations, Donna observed that generic hospital gowns stripped young patients of their youthful attitude and personal dignity. Street wear worn in the hospital required a nurse to unhook and re-hook medical lines just to change in to a clean shirt. During Audrey's final hospitalization, Donna made customized t-shirts that were both ”hospital-friendly” and also expressed Audrey's spunky personality. In Audrey’s honor, Donna launched AudreySpirit LLC, a clothing manufacturer that continues her daughter’s mission - to make difficult times that hospital patients face as personable, comfortable and empowering as possible.

The first line of AudreySpirit apparel includes xamtee™ therapeutic garments which help nurses get around invasive medical devices without having to disconnect them or contort the patient’s body into uncomfortable positions. Most importantly, the clothing looks “normal.” Donna worked with an apparel designer to develop original, patent-pending designs for high quality, comfortable garments that are useful in medical environments.

AudreySpirit LLC marked its first commercial sale of xamtee™ therapeutic garments to a local children's hospital in 2013.

Donna explained that “without the guidance of the KSBDC, I would not have found a U.S. manufacturer to produce xamtee™ garments.”

Donna has been meeting with Elisa Waldman of the KSBDC since 2012.

According to Donna, “Elisa provides an unmatched dimension of practical and visionary support.”

Donna spent many months forging relationships within the healthcare system. She organized beta tests and surveyed patients, nurses, and doctors to gather feedback. Now that the t-shirts are available for sale, Donna continues to champion the needs of her customers by seeking payment for AudreySpirit xamtee™ apparel through medical insurance.

Donna has taken full advantage of KSBDC offerings including QuickBooks courses, business plan review, and in-depth assessment of financial goals.

Donna believes that “having the confidence to support my financial projections directly reflects the efforts of the KSBDC. Elisa required me to stop avoiding unknown details and create a five-year sales plan. As a result, AudreySpirit LLC won $5000 in a local pitch contest!”

Donna is an outstanding example of an entrepreneur who is succeeding as a result of determination, persistence, and the support of seasoned professionals.

When asked for advice from new business owners, Donna always tells them that “every obstacle is an opportunity.”

Donna truly practices this advice, and she remains busy identifying opportunities and designing future medical industry products worthy of Audrey’s legacy.