By Tracey Porpora Staten Island Advance, N.Y.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A Staten Island college student had a dream of opening a fashion boutique after college. Thanks to the web, Elisa Beth Gentile didn't wait until graduation. Gentile jumped into the world of e-commerce by opening a digital boutique online called "Angelis NY."
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.
Since her childhood, Elisa Beth Gentile, 21, was intrigued with fashion -- the way clothing and accessories look, fit and make a statement.
"I always wanted to pursue a career in fashion, and I always wanted to take after my father, who has owned his own business for over 30 years," said the Tottenville resident.
While pursuing a bachelor's degree in communication, digital media and public relations at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Gentile began to dream of opening her own clothing boutique after graduation.
"Once I really sat and thought about it, I realized I didn't have to put off my dream much longer if I made my shop digital," she said.
With a little help from her parents for startup capital, she used her life savings to launch her online clothing boutique, ANGELIS NY in August.
"I've worked since I was 15 years old, and learned the importance of saving money from my father, therefore I always saved. My first internship I had after my freshman year of college at Theory & Helmut Lang allowed me to save a lot of my earnings, which have gone toward my business," said Gentile.
THE MERCHANDISE Gentile said she searches for the right mix of clothing that will appeal to women of all ages.
"I get my clothing from women's clothing wholesalers; that being said I go to trade shows at least once a month and I am constantly buying new stock through wholesalers online," she said. "The majority of my accessories, on the other hand, are handmade with love in my office."
THE MARKETING Gentiles said she has already gained a sizeable following thanks to her various social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr.
"In a world where we are so technologically advanced, I find that marketing my site online is the most cost effective and efficient method for me," she said.
THE CHALLENGES Gentile said her biggest challenge is balancing schoolwork with running her company.
"Starting a business is like having a baby; it needs your undivided attention, it needs nutrients and care and it needs love and support behind it. Being at school and finishing my degree takes up a lot of my time, especially because I am not the type to just 'get by' in school, my grades mean a lot to me, which is why I look forward to graduation," she said.
"In the future, I hope to open up a store, but as of right now, I couldn't be happier with hosting my clothing boutique online. After graduation I plan to fully immerse myself in my business. I want to dedicate as much time as possible so it can grow," Gentile added.
THE SUCCESS Her key to success is persistence. "If you keep up with something and work at it every day, it will get you to where you want to be. My drive comes from me wanting to be a successful businesswoman. I want to be able to become someone that younger girls aspire to be like," she said.
ANGELIS NY AT A GLANCE Website: www.angelisny.com