Welcome to Two Women Shop, an interview series that gives a little love to our friends who may not be One Woman Shops- but are awesome nonetheless. Join us as we chat with sisters, best friends, and business partners who are going it together as Two Women Shops!
Tell me about yourselves and your business! What prompted you to go into business together?
Torregrossa was founded in January 2010 in New York City by sisters Bridget and Megan Torregrossa. We will be creating, distributing, and selling high quality handbags with a continued commitment to incorporating creative ideas to the marketplace.
Bridget is an alumna of Marymount Manhattan College in NYC and has a degree in Professional and Promotional Communications. Since graduating, she has worked for Burberry in public relations, where she was a recipient of the coveted Burberry Icon Award for Innovation. Megan is an alumna of FIT; she graduated with a degree in Accessory Design. She has been designing and creating handbags since a very young age; she is in charge of the design process.
In the early 1920’s our great grandmother, Lucia Mariani, owned and operated three dress factories called Lucy Frocks in Brooklyn, New York. The name Lucy Frocks has been adopted by us, and will one day be a sister company to our primary label. Our grandmother was an innovative businesswoman who was well ahead of her time and her life story serves as a great inspiration.
It is our goal as designers to maintain a fashion forward approach without jeopardizing quality, style, and functionalism, just as our great grandmother did ninety years ago.
The Torregrossa collection will bridge the gap between high-end designer labels and less expensive, mass produced labels, without neglecting quality and design.
What are the greatest rewards and challenges of running a business together?
One of our greatest rewards are that we are both dedicated to achieving national growth and recognition. One of our challenges is Megan wants to put more focus on the beauty of the design. Bridget is more focused on what is selling in the market. We have now made sure to let Megan know after each season what is doing well and what is not doing well in sales. At the same time, we believe innovation and the unique beauty of our bags is a standout quality of our brand. This has allowed Megan to design in a way that does not jeopardize her design but also allows sales to continue to rise.
How have you worked to solve some of the challenges that have arisen?
When we first started, we worked on our areas of the business separately. In the past year, we have started to overlap our roles more because we find our efforts to be more successful when we work together as a team on design, events, public relations, etc. Our ability to constructively bring together our two different points of view has allowed us to grow our brand in the right direction.
We also had to learn that many times we have different points of view. We have now embraced that and it has made our company more successful!
Do you have rules to keep your relationship healthy and sane? Do you have any kind of written contract/rules between the two of you?
As our business began to grow and continues to grow, we make sure that we speak to each other as business partners and not as sisters. We do not bring our personal relationship with us to the office. There is always time for us to deal with personal matters, but when it is time to discuss business, we stick to the commitment we made to each other. We have found a way to keep our business relationship and our working environment very healthy and as sisters, we will always be there for each other no matter what happens. Ultimately, our relationship as sisters is always more important than our partnership as business owners.
What are your greatest challenges about business in general?
Another one of our biggest challenges has been working with a limited staff. Right now, it's just us! We do everything for our brand and sometimes it is difficult when one of us has a greater knowledge or expertise in a particular matter. Now we make sure to do our best to work together or at least be there to support the other in any way possible.
Any words of advice for best friends or sisters going into business together?
Plan, plan, plan. Plan for bad days and good days. Make sure you both have the same goals for your business. Lastly, enjoy what you do! If you both enjoy it, you will have success every day.
Questions for Bridget and Megan? Ask them in the comments!
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