Julie Sygiel was majoring in chemical engineering at Brown University when she took an entrepreneurship course and found her true calling. Tasked to come up with a business idea that addressed an everyday issue, she and two classmates decided to create leak-proof underwear to help women avoid embarrassing accidents during their period. After graduation, Sygiel founded Underbrella, which will launch its debut collection this fall.

All of Underbrella’s garments feature the patent-pending Underlux fabric that Sygiel developed using her background in chemical engineering. The high-tech, breathable material is composed of two wicking microfiber layers and a leak-resistant outer layer. Underbrella will be sold on ActivewearUSA and at select boutiques across America following its first online preview sale in October.

Despite her degree in engineering, Sygiel doubts she’ll ever work in the field. “You’re going to be way more successful doing something that you love,” she says. And for her, that’s empowering other women through Underbrella.