Aitch Builds Solid Foundation in Fashion, Cancer Research
Lauren Aitch is a busy woman.
She’s been a Michigan State University basketball star, turning that sport into a profession while living in Denmark. She has embraced fashion design as a career, both to beautify and to protect those in the workforce. With Dr. Jim Potchen, she co-founded the Aitch Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for early detection of hidden cancers.
And she is far from being done.
While playing professional basketball in Denmark, Aitch had an epiphany about her future.
“I always had an interest in fashion because I was a taller young woman, so finding clothes that flattered me was always an uphill battle,” Aitch recalled. “My ‘aha’ moment came when I was playing professionally overseas and had free time outside of basketball. I like to call my year overseas ‘my year alone with God.’”
It was during meditation on Scripture in that quiet time that she had divine experiences.
“This allowed me to start my journey in an area I did not go to school for, nor did I have an insight on,” Aitch said. “During that time I was able to design my first line, start my foundation and cast so much vision on what I wanted the next steps of my life to be; and God was right there with me, helping me find my purpose and my way.”
Aitch started her fashion business, Lady Aitch, as soon as she got back to Lansing. After several years of designing clothing, she saw an opportunity to create undergarments for first responders, health care professionals, athletes and more. The new business, developed in April, is called Human Base. It creates undergarments that deal with perspiration, wicking sweat away from the body, which helps keep health care settings more sterile and makes the gear worn by first responders more comfortable.
“We create apparel solutions to workforce problems,” she said. “We thrive on thinking outside the box to develop items that benefit the wearer in more ways than one. So we designed a garment that kills odor, absorbs sweat, dries fast and keeps the body at one temperature.”
Amidst the establishment of her fashion enterprise, she also co-founded the Aitch Foundation, which is a tribute to her father, an MSU basketball star who played professionally for the Indiana Pacers.
“Cancer research is important to me because I have had six family members who have passed away from cancer,” she explained. “I named the foundation the Aitch Foundation in my father’s memory because he was such a giver. He was also such an amazing father to me it rocked my world when he passed, and I wanted to do something in his honor that would affect this community for the better.”
The foundation has funded 21 graduate and post-doctoral students at MSU to further cancer research in the Greater Lansing community.
Looking ahead, Aitch also sees an opportunity to help those in pain.
“As we work in the B2B and athletic market, we come across so many different pain points that deserve solutions, so we are actively taking in workforce issues and analyzing if we can solve a problem,” she explained. None of it would be possible without divine direction.
“Simply my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus – I find that when I am the most in tune to what he is asking me to do in a day, I get the most done,” Aitch noted. “It’s amazing when you keep in order God, family and church, how he takes care of your balance. I am not saying it always is easy and I don’t find resistance in every day; I am just saying I have a free flow of solutions to take control of my day as soon as I hit the floor. He has partnered with me in my business – and that is my why.”
Aitch and the Aitch Foundation will partner with M3 Group for the annual Inspiration and Influence Awards on Oct. 16 at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West, 925 S. Creyts Road in Lansing. For information on the awards ceremony, call (517) 203-3333.