While most teenagers were getting their first taste of work through babysitting or flipping burgers, Raleigh teen Aly Silverio was starting her own company.
In 2008, the 15-year-old budding entrepreneur decided to make her love of fashion a means of making money by creating her own jewelry using polymer clay and a thrift store toaster oven. After much trial and error, Silverio perfected her line and started making money selling earrings and other baubles to her friends and classmates.
And much to her surprise, that small side business ended up leading to something much bigger.
“Three years into making jewelry, during my senior year of high school, I decided to use some of the profits to design some graphic t-shirts,” she says. “I was much more interested and invested in doing that instead of jewelry. So, I dropped the jewelry and started to build a clothing company.”
Now at 21, Silverio runs her own clothing company, Jawbreaking ( shopjawbreaking.com), with help from her mother, Ree. Her graphic tees and tanks – emblazoned with sayings like “Nobody’s Baby” and “Will Work for Shoes” – have developed a following, being worn by a slew of young celebrities, including members of One Direction.
“Everything I design is inspired by my life,” says Silverio. “I pull inspiration from everything – from quotes, to movies, music, even inside jokes with my friends. I like making my collections personal.”
The shirts are carried in various online boutiques and in a few brick-and-mortar shops, and Silverio has even been in talks with larger retailers, such as Urban Outfitters, to carry the line.
Though barely into her twenties, Silverio has a thriving business that she hopes to expand further in the years to come.
“I definitely hope to open our own stores and just keep the company growing to be bigger and better,” she says. “I’ve been doing this since I was 15 and now I’m 21, so it’s fun to literally grow up with my company.”
Bridal trunk shows
• Traditions by Anna bridal boutique in Raleigh will have new gowns from the Alyne by Rivini collection for a trunk show Friday and Saturday. The line features gowns in silk satin, crepe, organza and chiffon, priced from $1,600 to $4,000. To schedule an appointment, call 919-783-8652.
• Brides can check out the latest bridal dresses from Jim Hjelm’s spring collection during a trunk show at Victorian Rose Bridals in Raleigh Friday-Sunday. To reserve an appointment, call 919-833-1898.
Stylist starts magazine
Local stylist Mary Michele Nidiffer is launching an online magazine devoted to educating women about fashion and finding the most flattering looks for their bodies. Secrets of Style Magazine ( mysosmag.com) goes live on Tuesdayand offers advice and insight targeted at women ages 30-60. The site builds off Nidiffer’s work as a stylist, and includes content from guest contributors, as well.
Send Stylin’ tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.