Jefferson Scholar alumnae help empower women through fashion

March 9, 2017

When Taylor Richardson, the Tampa Area Jefferson Scholar, graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce in 2013, she never would have expected that shortly after starting her first job as a consultant at Bain & Company in Atlanta, she would request a six-month leave of absence so that she could help fellow U.Va. alumna, Mollie Crosby, launch a fashion line. But less than two years after graduation, Taylor had done just that. Together, Taylor and Mollie worked full time to develop CROSBY by Mollie Burch, a fashion line launched in the fall of 2015 and now sold online and in more than 140 boutiques nationwide.

Not content simply to etch their mark on the fashion industry, Taylor and Mollie set out to create a brand that empowers women. They developed CROSBY in partnership with Wellspring Living and Starfish Project, two non-profits that give exploited victims of sex trafficking the support to move forward.

Virginia Hawkins, also a Jefferson Scholar from the Class of 2013, is the chief strategy officer at Starfish Project, and is responsible for helping to make the partnership a reality. While at U.Va., Virginia studied the Business and Culture of China. She puts her studies to use every day through her work at Starfish Project, an organization that provides holistic care for women escaping human trafficking and exploitation in Asia.

Read the story of how the careers and aspirations of these alumnae intersected in this UVA Today story.



Taylor Richardson

Tampa Area Jefferson Scholar

Virginia Hawkins

Jefferson Scholars Foundation Jefferson Scholar



The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, like its namesake, knows that virtue and talent come from all walks of life. Indeed it is this knowledge that drives the Foundation to search the world over for its recipients.

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The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

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The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship and citizenship.

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