Meet Team YC


valerie mayen jane birkin

Valerie is the CEO, the lead designer, the creator, the innovator, the mover and shaker, the fearless leader, the Chief of Awesome behind the Yellowcake empire. Not only is she an award-winning, multi-talented artist – she is also one of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet. As a sustainable clothing designer, she values that the clothing she creates be not only beautiful, but also that it serves a functional purpose beyond aesthetics. (Ever wonder why we place such importance on pockets here at YC?) Valerie started this company on nothing more than hard work, and it shows in every thread and seam in her timeless, handmade designs.

One of Val’s greatest assets is her curious mind – she is never one to shy away from asking the tough questions and prompting someone to explain the WHY. She is always open to others' opinions – even hot takes – and thought processes. We learn new insights from her every day, and are consistently trying to plumb the depths of her wisdom.

Valerie knows how important it is to give back to the community, and to provide opportunities to others. We love that about her. She never wavers from her missions of sustainability, education, and helping others. Valerie’s huge heart combined with her ambitious personality and relentless drive has been her formula for success as she grows Yellowcake Shop. She is making waves in the sustainable, #slowfashion industry.

She is, as one customer aptly described her on our Facebook page, “the modern woman of our time. She's fearless, a mom, a wife, and a business women. Truly an inspiration to not only our city (Cleveland) but to anyone starting their career or wanting to pursue their dreams.”

Valerie is also one of the most fun people you could ever get the chance to know. She loves her family – she is full of adoration for her husband Jason, her daughter Luna, and her dog Salt. Valerie loves movies and her favorite tv shows; she’s the first to want to chat with you about the drama in last night’s episode!

It’s tenacious thought-leaders like Valerie that make a lasting impact in today’s world. As someone who is always willing to learn, listen, and grow her talents and skills – we admire her and aspire to be more like her.

Valerie is wearing the YC Classic Trench

*Jane Birkin photo source unknown

*Photo of Valerie by Hilary Bovay


kira heeley farrah fawcett

You’ve never met a personality quite like our girl Kira (aka: Kiki)... and we promise you, once you know her, you can’t help but love her!

Kira is a menagerie of many things: intelligent, outgoing, upbeat, quick witted, strategic, daring, loyal, hard working and most of all, kind.

As a professional roller skating dynamo and former derby girl, she knows a thing or two about being a bad ass. She’s sharp as a tack and as articulate as they come as our lead Junior Associate in the Sales & Marketing department here at YC HQ.

Kira knows her way around social media like a pro and is a whiz at projections and growth strategies. She is a veritable encyclopedia of information and suffice it to say, a treasured asset at Yellowcakeshop.

We owe a large portion of our success to Kira’s hard work and dedication in furthering our mission to positively impact the fashion industry. Kiki is making moves for the art of handmade like you’ve never seen! 😉

She’s three parts funky, two parts sunshine, and 100% pizza... and we’re one million times grateful 😘 🍕


Kira is wearing the YC Ultra Tri-Pocket Cardigan in maroon

*Farrah Fawcett Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

*Photo of Kira by Hilary Bovay


hilary bovay twiggy

They say good help is hard to find… And when you find it, do everything you can to keep it!

That’s how we feel about our Production, Fulfillment & Admin associate Hilary here at Yellowcake. She’s the logic to our madness, the calm to our storm, and the captain that keeps this ship on course.

Hilary (aka Hils) is the queen of organization, with an eye for creative detail. Precise, polite, and prompt. Hilary is the voice that greets you when you make your first purchase with Yellowcake. She is the friendly smile behind the emails you receive when your special garments have been sent on their way. She is the brains behind the problem-solving that goes into assisting clients with any needs they may have. In essence, she is the efficiency, warmth and personal touch of our customer service division that we so greatly pride ourselves in.

She’s also behind the lens of some of our social media content and our upcoming visual campaigns. With an eye for photography and a penchant for project management, Hils keeps YC running like a well oiled machine.

She’s 3 parts film buff, 2 parts blogger extraordinaire, and all parts class. We can’t imagine a world without Hilary and couldn’t be prouder to have her onboard. Her commitment to our success and mission inspires us to work harder every day as a whole.

Hilary is wearing the Tank Dress in blush

*Twiggy Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images

*Photo of Hilary shot by Kira Heeley/ edited by Hilary Bovay


grace nanni audrey hepburn

Grace Nanni is a creative force to be reckoned with. As one of her main internship projects this summer, she ideated, art directed, and styled the entire YC Vintage Icons photoshoot from start to finish. Additionally this summer, Grace launched an initiative within YC to utilize leftover fabric scraps as pet bandanas for CCLAS, the Citizens Committee for the Lakewood Animal Shelter. Grace was also the brains behind our exciting upcoming Bolsa Bag design – a leather crossbody/belt bag hybrid that will be the perfect addition to your Yellowcake look. We're pretty sure there's nothing Grace can't do!

Grace is wise beyond her years. She has an appreciation for styles of the past while always keeping her finger on the pulse of the cool. Her poise, intelligence, and energetic attitude inspires us. She has an impeccable eye for styling, a deft hand with a makeup brush, and an unwavering commitment to using fashion as an effort for constructive change in the world. With her quick wit and sharp commentary, she also makes us laugh until we cry.

We have been so lucky to work with Grace all summer long on a number of photo shoots and projects, and the Vintage Icons shoot was the perfect way to cap it all off. Now back at OSU for her Junior Year, Grace is heading up the university's Fashion Production Association and making waves. Be sure to catch their 28th Annual Design Show on April 4, 2020 – we'll be there with bells on!

Grace is wearing the Luxe Jumper in black

*Audey Hepburn Photo by Bettmann/ Paramount Pictures/ Getty Images

*Photo of Grace by Hilary Bovay