Entrepreneur shares her highs, lows of business journey

Krystal Ortiz, News Editor

The Hynes Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation hosted the talk “Bringing Innovative Ideas to the Market” on Oct. 8 at Gael Ventures on North Avenue.

The talk highlighted entrepreneur Stacey Blume, who shared her success and the challenges she faced in creating, marketing and selling her products.

Blume studied at the University of Michigan where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology before continuing her education at UCLA where she earned her master’s in social work. After realizing that social work was not for her, Blume founded her first business, which she named after herself: Blume. The company sells customized clothing such as shirts, underwear and baby clothes. Blume has now gone on to create an elastic band technology, ElastaFuse Tech, which is used by her underwear and fitness wear brand, Noble Titan.

Blume’s first business was a success and gained attention from many, including Jennifer Lopez, who bought some of the customized underwear with the name of her boyfriend. The brand was also featured on many talk shows, including “The View.” A year after the product took off, Blume signed her brand away to her larger company and is now paid in royalties. Blume is now focused on her newer projects, ElastaFuse Tech and Noble Titan.

Blume’s entrepreneurial journey has not been straightforward, but the hardest obstacle to overcome was finding the monetary support to fund her projects, she said.

“As a self-funded entrepreneur with my first business, it was working so I just kept going and the sales and the media attention just kind of enabled the business to thrive,” Blume said. “With my new business, it required a lot more development because the ingredient brand, ElastaFuse Tech, the product didn’t exist. So, the amount of time and resources it took to make prototypes was pretty extensive. And the legal fees, the patents and the trademarks, I wasn’t anticipating how much working capital was necessary to get this off the ground.”

Blume wanted to emphasize to the audience the need for determination to continue their journey to entrepreneurship.

“I think it does take a lot of grit and perseverance, and you’re going to get knocked down,” Blume said. “But if you believe in yourself and your idea you just keep going…Obstacles are our opportunities, and to not get discouraged and distracted, to keep taking steps towards making your vision happen and have faith that staying on the path will bring you to where you need to go.”

Assistant Director of the Hynes Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lendynette Pacheco-Jorge stressed the importance of sharing stories like Blume’s.

“It’s important to showcase things like this,” Pacheco-Jorge said. “Where you start in life is not where you finish. I think the entrepreneurial path is very diverse, and you do go through hoops and for most fashion designer and fashion entrepreneurs they tend to do things one certain way and her way was very different. So, it’s nice to showcase sort of what different paths you could take.”

According to Blume, her favorite part of being an entrepreneur is the opportunity she has to share her journey with students.

“I loved sharing with people, getting to talk to students like this at Iona,” Blume said. “It really is a rewarding part of it because as an entrepreneur you can even be so stuck in your own mission that it’s nice when I get to share the story with students who could be inspired or learn from it.”