Matt Castaldo, senior in the College and a founding brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at Georgetown University, plunged into the startup world with his best friend Xavier Morse, during a summer break living on Cape Cod. What started as an idea transformed into a full-fledged business—and a successful one at that: summer of 2013, The Blazer Bros began.
Castaldo and Morse partake in Greek life at Georgetown and Vanderbilt, respectively. Often, the fraternity lifestyle calls for “crazy blazers”—at Greek events or for annual Christmas cards. Recognizing a market, the two entrepreneurs began collecting blazers from thrift stores, to resell online for a modest return. They enjoyed modest profits from these second hand blazers, and decided to take their business to the next level: “We secured investment, and started to design and sell our own blazers.” Targeting fraternities, sports teams, clubs, and individuals around the country, The Blazer Bros offers affordable blazers to college students as an alternative to their expensive counterparts: “We try to keep our blazers reasonably priced so our clients do not have to worry about destroying a $300 Brooks Brothers blazer, at events.” With campus representatives at over 80 universities across the country, and other boutique clothing lines expressing interest in collaborating with The Blazer Bros, the company has come a long way in just over a year.
The process of starting a business itself proved surprisingly simple, Castaldo reveals. The startup’s initial capital investment stemmed from a friend from college, and with a little help from an entrepreneurship center, the three partners established an LLC: “I would encourage anyone out there to start their own business because there are very limited barriers to entry. I could go register any company that I wanted in a few days, and have it running within a few weeks.”
While the process has not been without minor challenges, Castaldo acknowledges the firm’s success. They will be releasing a new camouflage blazer within the next month, and a Seersucker for their spring line. Currently, however, Matt seems happy with the company’s progress: “For now I’m having a lot of fun, just seeing where this project goes, because it really just started with my best friend and I, during a summer in the Cape. We have no idea what we are doing most of the time, so we just wing it as we go. And that has been the most fun part of it, learning how to run a business on the fly.”