Eva Shaw ’20.5, a junior goalie on the Panther women’s soccer team, might have been speeding down a Vermont ski slope when the idea hit her. The economics major from Norwich, Vermont, realized that fashion and warmth – even in freezing weather – should go hand-in-hand. The rest is history in the making.
Tell us about Overeasy, the company you cofounded while at Middlebury.
Megan Collins ’18, a former Panther field hockey goalie as well as a great friend, and I started Overeasy, a winter apparel company early in our time at Middlebury. As a long-time skier and native Vermonter, I wanted gear that performed in harsh winter conditions. But you shouldn’t have to sacrifice looking good to stay warm! That’s when I had the idea to start Overeasy and make gear that served both functions! Isabelle Hartnett ’20, a fellow women’s soccer player, has also worked for the company for a long period and has been integral in growing it.
We make accessories to wear on and off the mountain. We have placed at two pitch competitions (won the MiddChallenge as well as second place at the Vermont Female Founders Startup). We began by employing local women to sew our hoods which has been an amazing way to be connected to the community. Overeasy has evolved into a lifestyle brand as well. Our “Lifestyle” line is perfect for any cold-weather wear and is the softest scarf replacement you’ll ever wear!
How did you develop your interest in soccer?
I originally fell in love with soccer when I was in eighth grade. Charles Mhluari, a former head coach of the Zimbabwe National team and club director (Lightning Soccer Club), started training and mentoring me. He persuaded me to specialize at the goalkeeper position and that’s when my soccer career really took off. He gave me the confidence to know I could play at the next level and that's why I decided to pursue it in college.
I was always a dual sport athlete (soccer and alpine skiing) and originally came to Middlebury with the intent to do both. I injured both of my knees during my senior year and gap year and that ended my ski racing career. Following a three-year hiatus from competitive soccer, I returned to the sport before my first year at Middlebury.
What keeps you busy at Middlebury?
I'm a member of Middlebury Women on Wall Street (MiddWOW). It is a group of women who are current and past students that provide advice, mentorship and resources for other Middlebury women seeking careers on Wall Street. I’m also a yoga instructor at the Middlebury Yoga Club, receiving my 200-hour certification in San Francisco during my gap year. I’m a tenant at the Old Stone Mill - an innovation hub for entrepreneurs, as the generosity of Middlebury to provide space for creativity and innovation is integral to the successes of Overeasy.
Tell us something that not a lot of people know about you.
Growing up, I always participated in fundraisers like half marathons and skiing events for Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD). I have raised over $10,000 for ChaD programs doing these during my life, with most of the fund being raised between the ages of five and 15.
Your family tree has many connections to Middlebury Athletics. Can you tell us a few?
My family loves Middlebury athletics and its roots run deep, as numerous members have played many different sports over the years. My family includes Kara Shaw ’15 (sister, skiing), Ted Virtue ’82 (uncle, football and basketball), Dani Shaw Virtue ’82 (aunt, skiing and tennis), Gale Howard Shaw ’52 (grandfather, skiing), Linley Shaw ’17 (field hockey, skiing) and Matt Virtue ’10 (lacrosse).
What is your #MiddMoment?
I actually have two and they are both special to me in their own ways. The women’s soccer team winning the second round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament in penalty kicks on the Field Turf Field and all the Middlebury fans that came out to support us. A close second moment was doing community service with my team in Paris, France, when we gave out meals to homeless and refugees, eventually playing soccer with them as well.
Note - The photo above to the left features Eva (left) and Megan Collins '18 (right) selling their Overeasy apparel during the 2018 Winter Carnival. (submitted photo)