Not many students have the ambition and drive to create their own company while still in school, let alone design a brand of seersucker baseball hats.
But that is exactly what student Ryan Quattromani intends to do with his brand, named “Seaworthy.”
Quattromani is from Rhode Island, from a town called Westerly near the ocean. He says he was inspired by the simplicity of the popular Good Life brand and started brainstorming from there.
“I ultimately became obsessed with the simplicity and adventure associated with the nautical lifestyle and began recognizing the exquisiteness and craftsmanship associated with nautical inspired fashion,” Quattromani said.
His “Seaworthy” brand is expected to be up and running in April, starting with “colorful, seersucker baseball hats,” all of which he designed himself with the signature Seaworthy text on the adjustable straps.
Even though the store has yet to open, he already has plans for the future of his brand including a second collection of hats called the “Safe Harbor Collection.” Eventually he wants to branch out to bow ties and nautical socks.
Quattromani is majoring in mechanical engineering, but calls himself an aspiring manufacturing engineer. He has been working close with the manufacturing of his hats so that they match what he has in mind perfectly so they can sell really well.
Once it is launched, he will be selling online (seaworthyri.com) and in a few small retail stores located in New England.
“I believe solely retailing products online will alleviate some of the cost and risk of creating a startup company – and perhaps freedom. I will have the ability to rebrand and add products for the convenience of my dorm room,” Quattromani said.
“Similarly, since the tendency towards consumer convenience is steadily growing, this will allow consumers the opportunity to purchase products from any Internet accessible location.”
The process, however, has been an interesting part of the experience. He spent most of his time at the ocean back home brainstorming ideas, with a notebook and colored pencils by his side.
This has been a ten-month process- Quattromani has been designing products, researching trademarking and patenting law, established Seaworthy LLC as an official legal entity and designed his website and social media elements.
“I’m not trying to be the next Giorgio Armani,” Quattromani said. “I think there is a type of uniqueness and perhaps, inventiveness to maintaining a personable company – a company people can relate to and feel. There is charm and an increasing amount of support for small businesses.”
Quattromani is really appreciative of the help and support he has received from friends and family.
His personable attitude has also helped him when it comes to establishing his brand, consistently asking himself “Will there be support?” Or “Will they be willing to support his endeavor?” But it’s been a good learning experience for him that he hopes he can pass on to others interested in entrepreneurship.
“Being a student offers a never-ending support structure whether it be legal or business advice from faculty, professional guidance from guest speakers and alumni, and even time freedom, regardless what students say,” said Quattromani.
“The only negative I’ve experienced in starting my own business at a young age is financial accessibility. Nonetheless, college is a great time for students to develop or at least brainstorm a business idea.”
It is interesting to look into statistics based on males in the fashion world and females in the business industry.
Like most fields, there is an imbalance. But Quattromani doesn’t think that should hold any one back, especially, as he believes, the media generalizes gender dominance in these systems.
“It’s important to never let false prejudices represent who you are. The only label that matters, is the label you give yourself,” he said. “Don’t let others define you and stay true to yourself. I think that’s all we need in life, to stay true to ourselves and never let anything stop us from accomplishing our dreams.”
For only starting out a business as a student, Quattromani has been working nonstop and done his research. Now, he only has to wait for his hats to be released. His influences– family members, teachers, influential businessmen, to name a few—inspire him to eventually motivate someone in his lifetime. His life will be changed for the better once his brand comes out and he is able to see the response and he is excited to share his stories and advice with others.
“What’s frightening most, is that I still have a long way to go,” Quattromani said. “But I’m willing and excited for the challenge.”