“I call myself the Chemist Gone Fashion. ”

May 2021: Greer, SC

Smart Fashionista

Brandi Long/Alexium International Principal Chemist

“I call myself the Chemist Gone Fashion. I love science and I love fashion. I started college as a biology major at Lander University, but switched to chemistry. It’s more about concepts and using those concepts to solve problems. That’s a big thing in research and development, to find and solve problems. That’s been my niche. It gives me great joy and purpose to fix a problem.

I’ve worked in labs for more than a decade now. The first eight years or so involved a lot of pharmaceutical chemistry, but I came to Alexium International in Greer about four years ago. We work with cooling technologies for mattresses and different apparels. We’re a flame retardant company, so I get to do a lot of horizontal burns and surface burns on fabrics. When you find the one thing that works and passes safety tests, you just have a sigh of relief. I love solving problems and helping. That’s what I strive for.”

“On my lunch break, I worked to solve a fashion problem. I invented a jacket that turns into a purse, and back again, while holding my phone and keys. I call it a Jurse. It was about 2017, and I went out in downtown Greer one night, and was struggling to hold my jacket, my purse, my drink and shake people’s hands. So, I worked on a pattern, materials and technology for two years during lunch and weekends. I’ve sold more than 200 Jurse’s, and this spring, I caught the eye of the N.B.A. I won the Charlotte Hornet’s Innovation Summit award for entrepreneurs.”

“We usually wear plain lab coats at Alexium, so, my co-workers get a kick out of my passion for fashion. My family does too. I’m a military brat, who was born in Germany, but we settled in Greenwood when I was about seven. Most of my family is still there. I’m married and have three boys who are 12, 13 and 17. They’re sports enthusiasts and gamers. When we’re all free, we like to do the parks in Greer and jump around downtown. I think the downtown area is amazing and it’s very family oriented. It’s a nice, safe place. My favorite restaurant is the Strip Club. The steak melts in your mouth and the macaroni and cheese is amazing. Can you tell I love to eat?”

“We are looking to buy a home. My kids are in the “Gifted & Talented” program at school. We’ve been looking around Riverside Middle and Riverside High Schools, as they look like places to meet different achievements and my boys will have teachers who will push them and point them where they need to be. That’s one of the main reasons we moved to this area. There’s so much up and coming and so many opportunities here.

This feels like home. It’s not the heavy traffic of a big city, but not a small country setting either. It’s just right. Problem solved.”