Nesha Sanghavi is the owner and president of UG Apparel and chicka-d, two women’s fashion-focused collegiate clothing brands. She founded UG Apparel in 2008.
UG Apparel and chicka-d can be found in more than 500 retailers across the U.S, and holds licensing contracts for 250 universities.
Born and raised in Charleston, WV, Nesha founded the company shortly after graduating from West Virginia University (WVU). During her studies in Finance and Economics, she was a varsity cheerleader for WVU’s football and basketball teams. Throughout her many cheerleading trips across the country, Nesha noticed a lack of feminine appeal in WVU logoed clothing. This inspired her to create the concept for UG Apparel.
Upon graduation, Nesha began building UG Apparel, while also working full time as a financial analyst in Pittsburgh. It was not long before she realized where her true passion lie and decided to pursue her idea of fashionable collegiate clothing for women. Nesha left her full-time job and was accepted to Parsons, The New School for Design in New York City, one of the top design schools in the world, to receive an AAS degree in Fashion Marketing.
During her studies at Parsons, Nesha was offered an internship with PUMA, a sports lifestyle brand, at their headquarters in Germany. Nesha finished her fashion marketing degree while living and interning in Germany. She also continued working on UG Apparel and searched for potential factories to manufacture her line of designs. Nesha finally found a manufacturer in India that was willing to produce her products. Although she was offered a job at PUMA, she decided to continue pursuing UG Apparel in her home state of West Virginia.
Over the last 10 years, Nesha has grown her company from 2 university licensing contracts to over 250, becoming a force in the women’s sports licensed apparel industry. In 2019, Nesha acquired another women’s apparel company, chicka-d. Her company has offices in West Virginia, Chicago and Texas.
Nesha is an active participant in entrepreneurship initiatives throughout West Virginia. She has served as a judge for the Statewide Business Plan Competition for three years and was a board member of Create WV. In 2016, Nesha won the Small Business Association award for “Young Entrepreneur of the Year.” Nesha frequently visits her alma mater and other universities, and speaks to students about her personal story and entrepreneurship.