Meet AprilMarin: April Bukofser ’03 and Marin Milio ’02, two Pace alumnae whose clothing and accessory line is on its way to becoming a household name. The two Lubin students were introduced in a marketing class on the Pleasantville Campus that helped lay the groundwork for their future success. “We were working together on a project and hit it off right away,” says Bukofser. “The project was based on a real-life marketing project for a company, and we both started thinking it would be great to have our own company one day. When we graduated, I still remember writing Marin a card that said ‘I’m so glad we met, so glad we’re graduating, and I can’t wait to open our business one day!’”
While their new venture didn’t happen overnight, it was never completely shelved. After graduating, both found jobs in their fields: Milio in marketing for MTV and Bukofser working for several fashion designers. Several years later, the two decided to make their college dreams a reality. “Neither of us was passionate about what we were doing on a day-to-day basis,” says Bukofser, “so we decided it was time to run with our idea of having our own business.” The two did the research and decided upon a custom clothing company. “At first it was more of a hobby—a creative outlet—and something that we did at night while both working full-time. But it started growing from there.”
Three years ago, the two had gained enough traction to quit their jobs and focus on their business (and families) full time. Their reputation for quality and customer service took off. One of their shawls was featured on the Today show and the two saw their accessory line sell more than 16,000 items the following day. They even got to meet one of their famous fans, Wendy Williams, who has featured their dresses and accessories on her show, and went on a behind the scenes glimpse of the show with her producer.
Today, the two are working on launching a new line for fall that will include mass produced products in addition to their custom line, allowing them to expand to more clientele and boutiques around the world. They credit their growing success to not only their love of the business but also the strong relationship that started at Pace and the skills they developed.. “We dreamed about this in college, we made it come true, and we love what we do,” says Bukofser. “Pace gave both of us a well-rounded base, and we’re using those skills every day in all aspects of the business… We made a lot of friendships there, which has helped us both personally and in business. Our roots are at Pace and if it wasn’t for Pace, we wouldn’t be here.”
Ed Note: AprilMarin offers discounts to Pace students and alumni, visit their site at www.aprilmarin.com and use the code PACE!