Innovating Mobility Solutions: A Profile of Felisha Crier Hosein and PregZen
Felisha Crier Hosein, a Samson Cree Nation woman living in Kula, Hawaii, is the inventive mind behind PregZen.
“Not being able to bend down or lift one’s legs is difficult and can be a daily challenge,” Felisha stated, reminiscing about her struggles with mobility. Drawing inspiration from her personal experiences, she identified a common issue faced by many—lack of functional clothing options for those with mobility constraints. She remarked, “I saw a need and came up with a solution.”
PregZen’s unique functional underwear is a testament to Felisha’s dedication and vision. Designed to be put on while standing, sitting, or even lying down, the underwear features side closures, eliminating the need for bending down. “You can open the underwear, sit into it, and then fasten on the sides,” she explained.
Felisha’s entrepreneurial journey, spanning over 12 years, was filled with both challenges and successes. From design prototyping to searching for the right manufacturing partners, every step was a learning experience. Despite the hurdles, especially during the pandemic, she persevered and successfully launched PregZen in 2019. “The most rewarding part about being an entrepreneur is seeing your vision or idea become a reality,” Felisha shared, embodying the age-old adage that necessity truly is the mother of invention.
“It’s not smooth sailing in business, you have to be able to ride the waves and change directions when necessary,” she commented. Reflecting on her journey, Felisha emphasized the importance of community and mutual support. Discovering Pow Wow Pitch was a pivotal moment for her, offering a chance to connect with like-minded Indigenous entrepreneurs and share dreams and challenges. Felisha most appreciates that,“We can learn from and encourage each other.”
Felisha’s entrepreneurial spirit is fueled by the stories of powerful women who preceded her. She draws inspiration from business magnates like Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, and her late mother and grandmother, who instilled in her the importance of resilience and legacy.
“Our ancestors were the first inventors on Turtle Island,” reflects Felisha. She believes that the inherent skills and talents of her ancestors are alive in all Indigenous people. As she builds her business, she honours their legacy, stating, “As I build my business, I do it as an honour to our ancestors. Carrying on their creative abilities.”
For aspiring entrepreneurs, Felisha has a straightforward piece of advice: “Go for it and figure it out as you grow.” She emphasizes the importance of learning from mistakes and not waiting for the “right time” to start. According to her, every small step, even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes a day, brings you closer to your goals.
In a world filled with challenges, Felisha Crier Hosein stands as a beacon of perseverance, creativity, and community. Her story is a testament to what can be achieved with determination, a clear vision, and a deep connection to one’s roots.
Register to watch Felisha pitch at the Innovation Semi-Final Online Watch Party on September 8, 2023, at 6 PM ET and vote for PregZen to win the 2023 People’s Choice Prize (#72) before September 17, 2023.