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SU alumna raises over $59,000 for clothing line on Kickstarter

Courtesy of Jess Garbarino

Jess Garbarino, an SU alumna, raised over $59,000 for her clothing startup, Brunswick Park.

In the world of today’s young professionals, the workday starts right when they wake up and ends with an 11 p.m. email. In between, they move nonstop.

Jess Garbarino understands this and is working to create clothing options for this nonstop generation.

Garbarino is a Syracuse University alumna and the co-founder of Brunswick Park, a performance apparel startup out of Boston. Recently, she and her team launched their first Kickstarter campaign. It started at 3 p.m. on Sept. 30 with a goal of $25,000. By 8:30 p.m., it was fully funded.

“I was so excited, so impatient. There’s always delays,” Garbarino said about officially launching the Kickstarter page. “I couldn’t wait to get it out there, but I was scared because it’s like baring your soul.”

With 24 days left to go as of Thursday, the campaign has raised more than $59,000 as of Wednesday night.

jacketgraphic

Photo illustration by Jon Mettus

 

For Garbarino, there was a lot on the line with this launch. She quit her job in public relations in August 2014 to pursue her dream of creating a startup.

“It was the most terrifying and isolating thing I’d ever done,” Garbarino said. “I was throwing all the benefits and a salary away. It was scary but so exciting.”

She was planning to start an online boutique, which she worked on for a couple months.

But very quickly, she realized that the markups on the clothes she wanted to sell were astronomical, sometimes as much as triple what consumers should be paying. Garbarino decided that she didn’t feel comfortable selling clothes to consumers with that retail model.

That was when she decided to go directly to consumers with her own line of outerwear. Currently, Brunswick Park includes a bomber and collarless jacket for women and a hoodie and blazer for men.

Garbarino said the holes in her own closet inspired her to create the line. She wanted something that fit her active, go-getter lifestyle but something that looked professional enough to wear to work.

Our audience is the millennial, entrepreneurial, startup crowd. They have the craziest days, they are the go-getters and they need pieces that will get them through the day.
Jess Garbarino

After conceptualizing her line, Garbarino knew she needed to bring in the right team of people. At the suggestion of her husband, Chase Garbarino, who is the founder of a few of his own startups, she got in touch with Alex Weaver.

Weaver’s full-time job remains as the managing editor of BostInno, a faction of Garbarino’s husband’s first startup, which is a digital media platform that focuses its content in the entrepreneurial and startup space.

As a reporter, Weaver covered many retail startups, particularly for men’s fashion. He said his strong opinions on menswear were one of the reasons Garbarino chose him as a partner in November 2014. Together, Weaver handles the men’s line and Garbarino deals with the women’s line and the business. The co-founders collaborate on the branding and marketing.

They’ve worked with a fabric vendor to develop a completely new fabric for the company. The result is an original blend of Merino wool that is bonded to either side of a polyester spacer.

“When you put it on, it feels like a long-sleeve tee, but it looks professional,” Weaver said.

However, Garbarino acknowledged that it is expensive. Pieces cost between $159 to $199.

Our audience wants to make smarter buying decisions, though. If you want high quality with minimal upkeep, you will make the investment.
Jess Garbarino

Buyers will also know that they are being charged a fair price for what they are receiving because Brunswick Park is a transparent business, Garbarino said. A page on their website is dedicated to the pursuit of ethical manufacturing and keeping buyers informed.

Now that their apparel is available to the public, both Garbarino and Weaver said they learned from others to get where they are now. For Garbarino, the push to get Brunswick Park off the ground came from her husband.

Chase Garbarino said he fell in love with his wife’s idea for Brunswick Park because it would make both his closet and his life more efficient. The two work beyond the 9-to-5 time frame. On some weekends, they sit next to each other on the couch, working separately, together.

“I wouldn’t have done it without him,” Garbarino said. “He gave me the guts and blind confidence I needed.”

Correction: In a previous version of the article the details of the fabric were misstated. The Daily Orange regrets this error.

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