As you’re watching the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, keep an eye out for a unique connection to Fulton County.
Caston grad Bryana Slisher works for Hinchman Racing Uniforms.
“Growing up in a rural area, I always thought that I would pursue an education and career in an agriculture-related field,” Slisher says. “I was mostly interested in agronomy. Eventually, I realized that my heart wasn’t in it and my true passion was fashion design. I attended the Art Institute of Indianapolis and majored in Fashion Design.
Slisher says she has a close friend whose brother raced cars casually. Her friend worked part time for Hinchman, and recommended Slisher when they were looking for additional seamstresses. Slisher worked for the company part time while attending school, and after graduating, she joined them full-time as a patternmaker.
“Since we are a small business, my duties extend far beyond patternmaking,” she says. “I also help with the sewing, managing the sewing floor schedule, and occasionally, special projects.”
When the drivers climb into their cars on Sunday, Pippa Mann will be wearing a suit that Slisher helped to create.
“Hinchman has been making Pippa Mann’s suits since 2011, long before I joined the company,” Slisher says. “Many female racers come to us because we offer a personalized fit. All of our suits are custom-made based on the racer’s measurements, versus standard sizes. This is an especially big deal for women!”
Slisher will be watching the race from home on Sunday.
“It’s been an amazing experience working for this company, and I am definitely learning to immerse myself in the world of racing so that I can better serve our customers,” she says.
Slisher says this will be her third year designing for the Project Pink Fashion Show, presented by Komen Central Indiana, one of Mann’s long-time sponsors.
“The models are women who survived or are living breast cancer, or close family or friends affected by breast cancer,” she says. “The dresses are made from leftover materials from the Race for the Cure – typically t-shirts and scarves. “The first year, I made a dress out of a vinyl “welcome” banner. Last year, I made a dress covered in fringe from slap bracelets. Not sure what this year has in store for us, but I’m excited!”
Mann will start 30th in Sunday’s race, in the #39 Clauson-Marshall Racing Driven2SaveLives Chevrolet.