July 21, 2014 – JERSEY CITY, NJ – Stephanie Romano, owner of the local Jersey City based business TRAASH, has advanced to the semi-final round of this year’s Start Something Challenge organized by Rising Tide Capital. The Start Something Challenge (SSC) is a
statewide pitch competition and business strengthening opportunity for New Jersey entrepreneurs.
To enter, Romano had to create a video that could convey her business brand in just 30 seconds. With over 1000 views, her video titled “Inspiring Creativity Through Reuse”, qualified to move on to the semi-finalist round which was awarded to the top 30 entries.
Since 2012, Stephanie has been reusing and repurposing unwanted materials into new merchandise. This year she wants to expand and open a reuse shop in Jersey City. “After visiting the East Bay Depot Center for Reuse in California my dream became to open up my
own reuse shop here in Jersey City.” Romano felt that since she was already diverting waste from landfills on a small scale with the items she was making that a reuse shop could do the same thing on a larger scale and could involve other artists and the community. Earlier this
year she took the first step toward making her dream come true by renting studio space at the newly opened Merseles Studios on Newark Avenue. One side of the studio is for sewing and
creating while the other is lined with shelves full of donated supplies like yarn, ribbon, beads, canvas, and even a bin full of disposable camera cases! Stephanie says, “If I win, I will use the grant money to help get the reuse shop off the ground. As of right now the shop is only open during special events but I want to make it more accessible in the near future. I am also in need of an industrial sewing machine in order to keep up with my craft and to create a new product line.”
For the next round, visitors can go on once a day to vote for TRAASH in the Arts, Craft & Entertainment category on the SSC website: http://startsomethingnj.risingtidecapital.org/ vote_arts_craft_entertainment.html. Once the voting ends on July 27, only 10 semifinalists will move on to the final round for a chance to win one of three business grants. Romano’s goal is to get over 1000 votes so she can move on to the final round where she will get to convey her
passion for inspiring reuse to a panel of judges.
The TRAASH Reuse Shoppe + Studio will be open as part of JC Fridays on September 5, 2014. !