Alumni Loungewear Company Is to Dye for

Melanie Ranieri

A huge fashion trend throughout the pandemic has been loungewear—It’s the perfect stay at home outfit. Loungewear has been all the rage recently because it is cozy and comfortable, but you can still look “put together.” Another huge fashion trend making a comeback since the 60’s is tie dye. Incorporating both of these trends, Marisa Menist and Jordyn Siegel, lifelong best friends and graduates of Great Neck South class of 2018, launched their tie dye loungewear company—Sweatsuited. 

The idea for the business began in late March. “We were both home from college and bored out of our minds. We had been tie dying to keep busy while stuck at home and decided to try and start up a tie dye business,” say Menist and Siegel. Menist is currently studying marketing and Siegel is currently studying communications in college, and both have long had an interest in fashion and art. They participated in our school’s fashion show sophomore through senior year, and Jordyn Siegel was a coordinator for the 2018 Fashion Show her senior year. 

The first step they took while turning their hobby into a business was creating an Instagram account. “Instagram is such a prevalent app in our society now and it does a great job promoting businesses and getting in contact with many other people,” says Menist. They had the design for the first sweatshirt but continued to perfect it. Once they had a design they loved, they took the risk and posted it. At first, customers placed orders through Instagram’s direct message, but as sales grew, a website was created to improve efficiency.
Another aspect of their business plan was using influencers as a marketing strategy. Influencers are a big part of brands starting from Instagram. Throughout the pandemic, influencers have used their platforms with a huge following to spread awareness of small businesses. The girls made a smart decision by sending influencer Lindsi Lane a sweatshirt they designed. This was huge for Sweatsuited as many people wanted the sweatshirt Lindsi was seen wearing in her post. 

A challenge they faced was not being able to work together as normal partners usually do. They would spend hours on FaceTime going over orders, coming up with different patterns, and discussing what new designs to create. Although not working together in person can be difficult, it became an easier transition when they started their junior year of college this past fall. Both still FaceTimed and contacted as per usual, just this time, many more miles apart. Eventually as time went on, the “divide and conquer” method was used by splitting up orders by location according to what made the most sense. 

 They have had many opportunities to sell wholesale to stores all over Long Island. “Instagram allows us the opportunity for stores to reach out to us, or for us to reach out to them. Whether it’s connecting over the phone or us going to the store and bringing some pieces to show— we then work with the store and sell our pieces to them wholesale.” says Siegel. A big thing the girls are continuing to learn is taking a negative complaint from a customer and turning it into a positive. They are also careful to save money and keep a balance for the business, saying, “Responsibility has been such an important role that both of us must take on as well.” 

Both have learned so much about what it takes to run a business, like staying positive and believing in yourself. Some advice they would share is, “To keep an open mind even if things aren’t going the way you planned.”

Turning passion into fashion—What started as a hobby to keep busy during lockdown has grown into a business.