2016 ~

It all started when I was entering high school and thought I should start dressing to impress; what does that mean? Wearing jeans, but jeans never fit me correctly! They were either too tight in the thighs, and if I sized up, I would have a huge gap in the back of the waist. For a long time, I thought that I was the problem, one of the reasons being that it never came up in conversation; no one is going to randomly start complaining about how their jeans fit. I then remember overhearing my sister said she needed to get her jeans tailored because the waist didn’t fit her, and I realized I wasn’t the only one. Sometime after that, my friend and I went into the same type of conversation, how our jeans ALWAYS gap in the back. After talking to family, friends, and other peers, I realized that this was a problem for many women, but the idea of creating a business out of it did not come yet.  

Throughout high school, I knew I was going to go to college for business, I also knew I was going to be an entrepreneur, but I didn’t know what kind of business I was going to own. Some thoughts in the past since elementary school: greeting card store, a bakery, a boutique, but nothing came up that made me think I wanted to do it for the rest of my life. My entrepreneurial mindset had always been there; since I was a child, I always wanted to start a business. It wasn't until 2020 that I started implementing my ideas in the real world.

2020 ~ 

The year of the pandemic when everyone's lives flipped and changed forever. It was an experience I and many other people would never want to experience again. I graduated high school that June, a drive-through graduation, and started college with all online classes. Then something struck, probably because we were all so bored in 2020! 

My friends and I had this thing where we didn’t do extravagant stuff over the summer; we just went to our friend Raina’s house to have a bonfire and talk until 3 am. It was the summer of 2020, summer was coming to an end, and our whole friend group pretty much left; all that was left was Me, Raina, and Djuly, the group's entrepreneurs! We started thinking about starting a business together; Raina had other plans that involved a successful energy shot business, so Djuly and I thought of creating a loungewear business starting with hoodies and crewnecks; Immaculate The Brand.  It was a fun experience, we began in September 2020, and then it fizzled out in December because we got too busy and didn’t have the time or money to invest in the business. We sold 30 hoodies and had approximately 900 followers on tik tok and 300 on Instagram; we could have been big! But it was a time everyone was struggling, online school, covid, and even depression. Immaculate The Brand failed, but it started my entrepreneurial uprise! 

2021 ~

I then realized I did want to start a business in college, so I started a digital journal business, which failed instantly. I wasn’t interested in it, I just made a planner on my iPad one day and thought maybe I should sell it, but that got boring fast. Next up was the idea of a swimwear line! I got samples and everything and told my friends about it, but then I realized there was nothing different from the swimwear I was making than any other swimwear business, so why would anyone buy it; that is how my entrepreneurial mindset changed to something better. Raina always used to ask me, for every business I created, “What makes your products different from others?” I never had an answer, but I still wanted to create a business; that was where the failure began. If I was creating a product that is already out there with no unique qualities, then what was the point?

2022 ~ 

A rough patch where I didn’t want to go to school anymore, and I didn’t know what business I wanted to create is the definition of 2022. I ended up just wanting to be a social media manager after college and starting a business letter; I was giving up before I even started. That summer, I had two internships for social media and thought maybe I should create a business out of that! Mind you, I had very little experience, but I thought maybe I should start a social media agency; let’s just say that idea stayed an idea and was never implemented because, yet again, it was not something I wanted to do and there was not a unique quality, it was just a business I wanted to run so I would have more of a direction in what business I wanted to run later on in life. Fast forward a bit, Djuly announced to Raina and me that she was started her own business for loungewear; happy for her but sad for me because I had always wanted to start a business my whole life and didn’t have an idea and she just came up with this in a year. Two of my close friends started up a business with me; not having an idea was depressing, but I waited weeks for an idea to just come to me, lots of talking with other entrepreneurs until I thought back to 2016 and how I had a big problem with jeans. 

I remember being in my kitchen asking why children's jeans have an adjustable elastic waistband and adult jeans don’t. Not knowing the answer, I asked my mom, and she informed me about how children grow fast, so you don’t want to buy new jeans every other week, so they use adjustable elastic to help with that problem. It made sense; it made so much sense that it sparked an idea for my own business, maybe let’s call it: Tony’s Denim.

September 2022 ~

September was when it all began, I got a mentor through the Small Business Association in Connecticut and started planning my business! Found a manufacturer, started designing, got funding, and everything was coming together! January was when things started to get big!

January 2023 ~

I had a break with my mentor during winter break for college and realized I wanted to pursue this business alone because we were going a little slow! January, I met with other entrepreneurs for advice and put down a 30% deposit on my first batch of inventory! Fast forward to March, I got all my approved samples ready for our first professional photoshoot at a studio with Ellerie Brust; amazing pictures and the launching of our social media! 

April 1, 2023 ~ 

We started a preorder which wasn’t the best based on how no one knew who we were, so no one was going to pre order; there was no trust yet! One thing I learned from pre orders is that people will wait for the launch; if you’re a small business, they aren’t desperate to buy your products. Start a waitlist instead of pre-ordering, have a waist list option people can click, and then you can get an estimate of how many people want to buy your product when it comes out!

Mid-April, my inventory came in, and I wasn't even there; my family helped bring 20 boxes of 30 lbs into my garage at 11 pm. I was on Facetime with them 2 hours away at school! That story will be funny to tell later on in life; I’m so glad I had a loving support team by my side to help! 

May 15, 2023 ~ 

Tony’s denim launch! After long days of balancing school and building this business, countless headaches, crying myself to sleep, stress about timing, and much more; Tony’s Denim has officially launched! I’ve wanted to give up, but I'm so glad I didn't because my vision for this business is big, and I'm so excited to share it with you guys! This is just the beginning!


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