by Nicole Fitzsimmons, News Editor
In a common room of Horan Hall, communication major Sophie Demurjian ‘21 began her small business “cutandcropped” selling bleached and cropped t-shirts. Today, the business has expanded its items and reach with vintage sweatshirts, jewelry and sweatpants reaching over fifty thousand Instagram followers and customers in her small boutique in SoHo.
The fast-paced experience of college and her busy schedule as an athlete on the D1 women’s soccer team led Demurjian to get creative about different ways to get income. Walking around campus, she saw numerous students with cropped T-shirts and got inspired to sell her own.
“I was trying to think of something that I could control how much I make. So, I saw everybody walking around campus wearing cropped t-shirts and people would just cut them with their own scissors so they had, you know, a jagged edge,” Demurjian said. “So, I thought of the idea of selling these t-shirts, with a straight cut with a rotary cutter. So, I bought a rotary cutter, started an Instagram, and I started selling them and I just kept up with the Instagram and it grew to what it is today.”
With the help of her teammates and supporters, Demurjian was able to attain models for her clothing and take photos in her dorm room and later, her apartment.
“She’d come knocking on my dorm room, and be like ‘Hey, I have a bunch of shirts. Can you model now? Are you busy?’,” Kimberly Mains, senior mechanical engineering major and teammate of Demurjian, said.
Junior exercise science major Emily Scarda was a freshman coming onto the team when she began to help out Demurjian.
“So when I came to Manhattan as a freshman, Sophie was on the soccer team, and so was I, so I met her through that,” Scarda said. “And then coming into the school, we all knew that she ran the @cutandcropped account, and we thought it was really cool because it had a larger following. So, when we met her, we told her that we could help her with anything … she needed people to wear the shirts and have pictures taken for the account and a lot of us were, like, more than happy to do that.”
The growth of content and followers on Instagram would seem like a challenge for many student athletes, but it became a passion for Demurjian.
“Honestly, my stress didn’t really lie in the business, that was more so my outlet, I enjoyed it that much,” she said. “I feel like if somebody really wants to start a business, it has to be something they’re passionate about. And, I really liked the idea of selling something I made. I don’t sell cropped t-shirts anymore, but I still sell sweatshirts, and I make the smiley sweatshirts. Now I work in Soho, like I have a pop up there and I love walking around there, seeing everybody wearing the sweatshirt, because it just makes me so happy and it puts a smile on their face, too.”
Demurjian reflects on the growth of her business and how it has also helped her grow as a person throughout college and postgraduate life.
“The hardest part, I guess, would be time management, because orders and stuff like that, and responding to DMS, and posting content, all that can catch up on you. And, now that I work in the store, there’s even more stuff to do,” she said. “But yeah, just keeping up with like, all these little tasks, there’s so many little things you have to do when you’re running a business. And when it grows, you have to grow with it.”
Her teammates, friends and family are amazed at how Demurjian was able to turn this dream of crafting her own clothing and accessories into a reality.
“I was super happy for her seeing where she is now and how she has her own little boutique in the city. That’s huge. And, I knew it was something that she wanted to do and worked really hard for. So, it’s nice to see that her hard work is paying off,” Scarda said.
Mains shares the same admiration for Demurjian and her successes.
“I think it’s amazing how she just started in a dorm building and now she has a little boutique in the city. Like, I think that’s amazing,” she said.
Communicating with manufacturers
promoting her content and ensuring customer satisfaction are some of Demurjian’s tasks and priorities that have led her to reaching a bigger audience. Her experience at Manhattan College has helped her grow the business and maintain her education.
“Manhattan College, you know, I’m glad it gave me that idea and the way the schooling worked, it allowed me to do my business and stuff. And, all the students and people who were so supportive of it definitely helped me to get where I am today,” she said.
The ability to manage herself is something that Demurjian has dreamed of and is making a reality everyday, and recommends it to anyone who has the opportunity to.
“I honestly love it,” she said. “Like, I love working for myself … I get to make my own hours. You can’t beat that … I highly recommend it if you have something you’re passionate about. The biggest thing of all is that you could sell anything. It’s just that people want to hear your story.”
The “cutandcropped” store is located on 505 Broome Street, and Demurjian welcomes any MC students to stop by and shop her clothing and jewelry.