MARY BETH BROSNIHAN / FOR THE HOYA
MARY BETH BROSNIHAN / FOR THE HOYA

Angela Morabito (SFS ’12) began her own company, Headlines, with support from a Compass Fellows  grant. Headlines, which sells scarves and other accessories with inspirational messages, has gained popularity. She hopes that it can send a message about female empowerment. Originally from Georgia, Morabito hopes to pursue research in anthropology after finishing her undergraduate studies on the Hilltop.

 

What inspired you to start the company?

I was a Compass Fellow my freshman year, and that provided me with a grant to start a venture, and they said to start something that matters to you. For most of my freshman year, I was bouncing around ideas, but they said to do something that matters to you, and what mattered to me is that there’s this perception in American society that there’s a binary: the dumb blonde, and your hidden, stylish smart person. I don’t think anyone should have to choose between those two things. There was nothing in fashion that was speaking to women’s intelligence. Headlines is filling a need that no one else was recognizing.

 

When did you make it and what’s the team that’s working on it?

I am the CEO and I filed an LLC in Georgia in April, but the company opened for business on Sept. 24, 2010. What we started in September was a “test market.” It was run out of my dorm room. It was, “Let’s just see if this idea takes off!” And it did, probably more than I was able to keep up with. We sold out on Christmas Eve!

 

What have you personally gained from it?

I think the most beneficial thing to me has been the most beneficial to others. This is about showing the world something, but it’s not about showing the world clothing. It’s showing the world that there are people who do great things with great style. There’s something I can throw on in my closet that will really remind me that you don’t have to choose and it’s okay to speak your mind.

 

What has been the hardest thing?

There’s a new challenge every day, but it’s really rallying people behind something that’s not Vera Bradley. The funny thing I’ve noticed is that the resistance is almost never from the guys. Some of the most heartwarming experiences are when the guys buy something for their sister or their moms. For just as much resistance as there has been, there’s been double the support. I am immeasurably thankful for that.

 

Have you had any customer interaction?

There was a girl in Indiana who said, “Let us put Headlines in our fashion show,” and so I sent over a scarf. After the show she said, “Can I buy it?” And I said, “Of course!” Lo and behold, she was in town this weekend, and I got to meet her. It was great to put a face to the name.

 

What do you see for the future of your company?

At this point I want to see how big the company can get. I know it can grow out of my dorm room, but I also want to see Headlines continue after I graduate, and I want to see it continue even independent of me. I’m not sure what form this company is going to take, but the more people it reaches — I think that’s our metric for success.

 

What are your personal plans?

My dream would be to get a research grant to do anthropological work abroad. I’m an SFS kid at heart; I want to travel.

 

Anything you’d like to get out to the public?

Our test run went really well, but we’re still trying to raise more money. We’re doing a “start some good campaign.” I built a campaign to raise $1,000, and we have about two months left before that campaign expires.

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