Regina von Schack ‘99
Gina Made It
A box of handmade headbands sat under Regina von Schack’s (’99) bed in her New York City apartment until her younger sister Mimi ’10, then a senior at Marymount School of New York, discovered them and claimed several for herself. It wasn’t long before her classmates began asking her where she got her headbands. Mimi’s response? “Gina made it!”
Mimi’s reply now titles Gina’s company, whose collection of hair accessories spans the globe. Having just completed her interior design degree at Parsons School of Design, Gina was only experimenting with hair accessories as a hobby. Beginning with elaborate, whimsical pieces for birthday girls and brides-to-be, a friend encouraged Gina to try everyday headpieces. And in 2010, she did just that.
Having previously worked with start-ups, including Smathers & Branson, Gina knew the ins-and-outs. She attributed her ability to network and plan to her Sewickley education. “The Academy provided an environment where I excelled and built confidence in whatever I was working on," Gina said. "That served me well.”
Gina’s products proved popular in small boutiques throughout New York, including the Hamptons, and Connecticut. By April 2011, she had orders from the popular clothing line Lilly Pulitzer. “Those orders were the game changers and really put me on the map,” she recalled. Gina Made It (GMI) began using a worker-owned, eco-friendly factory in North Carolina, growing her line to include leather headbands, pony scarves, and the popular bun bow®.
“I’ve always said that one day I wanted to have my own business, but I didn’t know what or where," she said. "I thought it was interior design, but it was the hobby that I always took for granted.”
While Gina describes her story as “serendipitous,” a strong argument can be made that it was her diligence, creativity, and business sense that has put her start-up on the path to perpetuity.