Meet the Artist: Valerie Mayén, Yellowcake Shop

Yellowcake 2
Yellowcake Shop is a delicious, fashionable find.

By Kelli Comer

Female founded, female made, female run. Yellowcake Shop is the signature line of women’s clothing and accessories founded by Cleveland designer and Project Runway alumna Valerie Mayén.

Designs are inspired by avant garde, fashion-forward couture, transformed into something beautiful and functional that clients feel wonderful wearing.

Valerie graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2005 with a degree in illustration and design, then freelanced while taking some classes at Virginia Marti College of Art and Design with a focus on fashion.

Valerie Mayén

“I started Yellowcake in 2009, then competed on Project Runway in 2010 and Project Runway All Stars in 2016,” she says. “My time on the shows definitely gave me exposure and credibility, both locally and nationally. It was an unforgettable experience that cemented my career in fashion.”

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Valerie and her team brainstormed ways Yellowcake could pare down, support the greater good and give back to the community. To date, the Yellowcake team has produced over 30,000 face masks for organizations and members of the Cleveland community—including Lutheran Ministries’ homeless shelters, the entire Cleveland RTA fleet and all employees of Dave’s Markets.

“We’re shifting our focus as things are shifting in our world,” says Valerie. “We’ve learned quickly how to gain clientele from online sales by enhancing our online shopping experience with better photos and utilizing social media to poll our fans on what they’d like to see Yellowcake do next.”

Recently, the company has started printing casual streetwear with a local and quarantine focus, called YC Cozy. Five dollars from every sweatshirt purchased will be donated to the Cleveland Food Bank.

“My design ethos has evolved since becoming a mom, wife and homeowner,” Valerie explains.

“I began thinking more pragmatically. I wanted my clothing to be stylish, beautiful and unique, but also functional. At Yellowcake, we design products to make the end wearer feel beautiful, embolden them to live confidently and make their clothing work for their lifestyle.”

Yellowcake Shop is located within the 78th Street Studios in Cleveland, at 1300 West 78th Street, Suite 020. Visit YellowcakeShop.com to shop online. Follow Yellowcake Shop on Facebook @yellowcakeshopcle and Instagram @yellowcakeshop.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment