As a junior at Middlebury College, Sophie Hiland ’18 has another title—Overeasy CEO. The company makes a wearable called a HoodE that is a unisex, helmet-compatible hood with a built-in face panel that is great for, but not limited to, keeping warm on the ski slopes.
Eva Shaw was a promising skier in Vermont when injuries redirected her future. That’s when she created the HoodE in 2016. Fast forward to September 2020 when she hired Sophie to handle social media and marketing. By January 2021, Eva gave Sophie the reins to run the company.
Sophie credits her experience as an NSCD graduate for preparing her for the role of CEO. “Had I not been used to playing a sport, taking challenging courses at school and co-leading community service club, as well as a couple of other extracurriculars, I don't think I would have thought I was capable of running a company,” Sophie said.
“Growing up at a school where being engaged with more than academic work was valued, played a huge role in shaping how I structure my days and explore my curiosities,” she added.
Sophie said that through her 10 years at North Shore, she learned how to ask for help and advocate for herself. “I am better at my job because I’m able to recognize when I need to take a pause or get help from a professional in any given field—such as hiring a digital marketing consultant because I knew I didn't have the knowledge to run Google Ads as effectively as I'd like to.” She also says that Middlebury has great resources for student entrepreneurs, something she took advantage of.
“Reaching out to that team for advice has been super helpful and feels very much aligned with the practices I learned as an NSCD student,” she said.
Public speaking was another skill that Sophie honed during her time at NSCD, and it’s paid huge dividends. Making announcements in front of the entire upper school helped her gain confidence talking to 200 people without a script. And being in a play taught her how to project her voice and own the space when she is pitching Overeasy and the HoodE.
Photo credit: Caleb Kenna
North Shore Country Day’s annual 10-minute play festival “Take 10” returned to the stage on April 13. For the first time in three years, students performed their original plays in front of a live audience with performances in the NSCD Auditorium.
All seven plays were written, produced and directed by students in the upper school directing class. Some were based on personal experience, observations and media events, while others stemmed from pure creativity. Once the scripts were finalized, the student directors held auditions, cast the roles and ran their own rehearsals.