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Spotlight on Student Success: Alexis Fedor (B.S.S. '96)

Fedor is the founder of Love+Water designs, a website that connects artists, charities, and supporters through t-shirt design

by Lauren Hutchison, PACE Publications Editor. Published 2/24/11

After dancing, choreographing and acting in Chicago and New York, University College alumna Alexis Fedor has a new mission: wearable philanthropy.

Fedor is the founder and executive director of Love+Water designs, a website that connects artists with charities and supporters. Artists submit designs inspired by one of the site’s affiliated charities, then Internet users vote on their favorite designs. The winning design is printed on t-shirts and sold in the online store. The winning artist receives a cash prize and a portion of the proceeds from t-shirt sales go to the charity that inspired the design.

Alexis Fedor, B.S.S. '96
Alexis Fedor, B.S.S. '96,
Executive Director of Love+Water designs
Fedor graduated from University College in 1996 with a B.S.S. in film and dance. She chose the B.S.S. program because it allowed her to craft a degree with an interdisciplinary focus. Fedor said her advisor, Lora Clapp, played an important role in her academic success.

“I knew what I wanted to do, but putting it together, it gets complicated. Certain areas were not working out,” she said. “Lora was just emotional support as well as clear-headed support all the way through. I couldn’t have had a better advisor.”

Fedor said her time at OHIO gave her the confidence and skills needed for life outside of the university.  “When I got ready to move to New York City, I felt really well-equipped. That's a good indication that they did something really right,” she said.

After dancing and choreographing in Chicago, Fedor attended New York University and earned a master's degree in cross-cultural dance and theater studies. Since her time at NYU, Fedor has dedicated most of her time to acting in theaters across New York.

Fedor said Love+Water designs gives her a great balance between her professional and personal interests. “I can have something that really grounds me and allows me to focus on something else that I love that's still connected to the arts while pursuing my acting as well,” she said.

Though Fedor has always wanted to start her own business, she was inspired to start Love+Water designs while working at a public relations firm. “I learned a lot about business and a lot about public relations, but it was the kind of job where I was just growing weary after four years, because I knew it wasn't going anywhere,” she said. “I thought, 'this is a perfect time to start my own business.'

She started by blogging about artists and charities she wanted to work with. After a year of networking and preparing business plans, Love+Water designs launched its first project in October 2010.

Though the business is new, Fedor said working with talented artists and great charities has already been an immensely rewarding experience. “I knew that I always wanted to have a business that would give back,” Fedor said.

For anyone considering a new venture in life, Fedor said the best thing you can do is prepare (but don’t wait forever), then put your plans into action. The most important thing is not whether or not your plans succeed, but what you learn from your experiences.

“You're going to learn from it. It's not about whether you succeeded or failed at all. I think that's the Jedi mind trick that everyone falls for, and I think that it's so off-base,” she said. “The truth of the matter is that we do things in life so that we can learn. You put something out there, watch what happens, and then you evaluate and say to yourself 'what is this doing for me and what did I learn from it?' That is what keeps me going and gives me the strength to carry on even in spite of the fact that things have gone awry along the way,” she said.
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