By Meredith Corning
Starting a company with a sibling may sound like a nightmare for some, but for sisters Dorothy and Danielle Cascerceri it has been a dream come true. Dorothy is the Senior Editor for “In Touch Weekly” and entertainment commentator who has been featured on shows such as Chelsea Lately, E! News, and The Today Show. Danielle is a recent college graduate with an inherent eye for business. Danielle’s youth and vibrance coupled with Dorothy’s keen knowledge of pop culture creates an awesome twosome for designing witty sayings and fresh artwork for their t-shirt line. Dorothy, the big sister dubbed in the family as ‘big D’ and her younger sister, Danielle, known in the family as ‘little D,’ merged their childhood nicknames to form their fashion line, bittle D. Recently celebrating their one year anniversary for their 100% organic t-shirt line, we get an update from Danielle on the business, the brand, and bonus of doing what you love with someone you love.
Taking on an organic t-shirt line is certainly an ethical fashion design choice. Can you describe your manufacturing process for bittle D? And what made you decide to choose an ethical fashion route to begin with?
We chose to go organic because when researching the manufacturing process, we realized how important it is for the consumer and the environment. The organic cotton material is a lot more cooperative in the washing process and maintains that super soft feel for years after first wear. Our customers love that!
When it comes to marketing your line, what have you found to be the most successful mode of operation?
Since we are a small company, we’ve seen all different types of marketing work for us. Word of mouth seems to be really effective since we do a lot of different events – small and large – all over the place. Social media has proven to be pretty great – Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr – because we have a cool personal story to share and people love that. We’ve also been contacted to do some bigger stuff like feature stories and flash sale sites, which is exciting as a small company and it shows that we’re gaining more recognition than we realize. Since we’ve only been open for business for a little over a year, we’re still figuring out which marketing methods work best and which ones we want to pursue more than others. It’s definitely a learning curve!
Do you participate in fashion shows or special events? Please describe and how helpful have events been in the marketing of your line?
We love taking advantage of opportunities to market our Tees face-to-face with shoppers. We do a lot of small-scale and large-scale events so it gives us a chance to see what else is out there and how consumers shop in different environments. We also take advantage of selling at events by donating a portion of our proceeds back to non-profit organizations. We love being able to add that philanthropic element to bittle D because we feel that it’s really important to give back.
Before bittle D, what business experience did you both have or was business an acquired skill?
I think a little bit of both. When we started bittle D, I was in college taking business classes and running my business at the same time! That was really helpful and I absolutely applied things I learned to the decisions we had to make as business owners. That being said, there are also a lot of things that you can’t learn in a classroom about running a business. A lot of times it takes failure to teach success, which we can certainly attest to. It’s all about learning a lesson from failed ideas and decisions. If you don’t learn, you’ll keep failing.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
I always advise aspiring entrepreneurs to believe in yourself and turn your dreams into reality, even if it seems like too big of a job to take on. There are days where your ideas will seem crazy but what you can get out of starting your own business – even if it fails! – is invaluable. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.