Q & A with Tara Puntasecca
How did you come up with the concept & name for MAINTENANCE?
I started writing and venting in my journal one night and listed all of the elements of my life that I had to balance: friendships, relationships, my job, finances, my home, social life, etc. I wrote "maintain what you love" and at the bottom of the page I scribbled the word "MAINTENANCE". I looked at the word and had an epiphany : "this would be an awesome concept for a clothing company!" If you just remember to maintain every aspect of your life evenly, you will have balance.
How did you start it, build buzz, and make it happen?
I really had no idea what it would take to start something like this, so I went to Google. I researched everything from how to get shirts made to re- labeling, different options for promo materials, and tried to find communities and forums for small businesses. I had such vivid ideas as to how I wanted the clothes, photography, overall branding and image to look. I started networking to find other young, local professionals in an effort to build a solid team & ended up finding some super talented young people to help me get things going. Further down the line I met my future boyfriend, Kristian Szabo. Initially, I didn't want to involve him in the brand because I thought he would only be doing it to please me, not because he wanted to. However, a few months later, he proved his passion and dedication to the brand which led us to start our LLC together.
How and where are your clothes made?
Almost every single MAINTENANCE garment is made by Kristian & I. We work out of a local print shop who has given us a tremendous gift in letting us learn to print and use their equipment for our brand. We are sticklers for quality therefore every garment is inspected and approved before being sent out to our customers. Every garment is folded, poly- bagged, stored and then shipped from our New Jersey Headquarters.
Who designed your website and graphics?
We did! Co-owner, Kristian, built our website himself. I helped him throughout the process by filling in the content and creating most of the graphics. All of our photography was done by Kristian, with the exception of more recent shots taken by our 2012 intern, Sarah Frascella. We make a really great team and have designed almost a dozen websites together & have started a subdivision of MAINTENANCE CLOTHING called Maintenance Design. We offer: graphic & web design services, photography, consulting, and print media solutions. Kristian and I would be happy to take on your next project! If you like what you see and would like to work with us for your website, please do not hessitate to reach out: Tara@maintenanceclothing.com
What advice do you have for aspiring young entrepreneurs?
Never stop pushing. If you want to do something, do it. It will NOT be easy- but it will be worth it. You have to be smart, think with your heart, but never forget to use your head. Reach out for help in every area that you need it and don't be afraid to make mistakes; it's how you learn.
What plans do you have in store for MAINTENANCE?
We intend to keep bringing you awesome graphic tees but are looking to expand our line by offering pieces like leggings, skirts and cardigans. We're also going to be unrolling new jewelery in the near future and are open to requests! If you'd like to suggest a MAINTENANCE product, please reach out to us via our contact form!