Callie Wachendorf and her family

Pursuing Your Passions – She went from fashion to health care IT professional and small business owner.

A woman of many titles, Callie Wachendorf, '12, seems to do it all. She currently works as a health care IT professional, but that wasn't what she originally had planned for herself.

"I actually went to my undergrad for fashion. So, my degree is in apparel and textiles retail merchandising," Wachendorf said.

She started at the Buckle, intending to work her way up to being a purchaser for the company. But when she had her son, Cooper, Wachendorf decided that working nights and weekends would not work for her anymore.

“I was thinking of the life I wanted to give my son, and I was not content with where we were. I wanted to show him how hard work can pay off, so I applied to the University of Mary for my MBA," she said.

"When I got accepted to grad school at Mary, it was a pivotal moment in my life. It changed who I was as a person and told me that I was good enough to go after my dreams, and I didn't have to settle for the status quo," Wachendorf continued. "When the days were long and the hours were short on a project, my professors were understanding, and they worked with me, and they encouraged me to get through it. The education I obtained opened my eyes to what I wanted to do."

After completing her Master of Business Administration in Management, she joined the hospital's IT department as a business analyst. Since then, Wachendorf has held various IT positions leading up to her current position as a health care IT consultant with Briljent.

shirts made by Callie Wachendorf

Wachendorf still wanted a creative outlet, so she bought a machine to make her own shirts, and soon people started asking where they could buy them. She started ND T-Shirt Co in 2017 and makes soft t-shirts with fun and snarky sayings. In 2019, she began ROAM Wear 701 with a friend, a Midwest wander brand of clothing.

Now Wachendorf gets to do both, working as an IT consultant during the day and working on her apparel businesses at night. On top of that, she juggles being a mom and finds time to run a nonprofit, ND Giving Co., which puts on annual toy drives and sends birthday packages to families of fallen soldiers.

Wachendorf says that while it may seem like her day job and her other passions are very different, to her, it all comes down to finding creative solutions to a problem. Balancing it all keeps her busy, but she says she would not change a thing.