As a part of this summer's Perlman Price Young Entrepreneurs Program (PYE), Club member Giacomo M. won seed funding to help start his clothing line called Pekuod. Inspired by the social movements of recent months, he created his line to promote social awareness and bring people together "under the same seal."
Through PYE, Giacomo completed more than 65 hours of education on entrepreneurship. Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County (BGCSC) offers PYE three times a year, and guides local high school students through a curriculum designed to help them create their own business, gain business operating experience, network with industry professionals and community leaders, build their resume and pitch their business plan to investors for a chance at securing seed funding.
Giacomo is a junior at Booker High School and super active outside of school, too! Having completed our STAR Leadership Training Program, and currently a part of Keystone, there is certainly no shortage of hard work and dedication with this member. We asked Giacomo a series of questions to learn more about his business venture, Pekuod.
Q: What made you want to start Pekuod?
A: The idea of Pekuod came up to me in the moment I was trying to understand what my business would be about. I spent hours thinking and brainstorming about what problems needed to be solved in our society and how my business would help it, going from environmental, to religious and political issues. Then, one day, while watching the news and posts of people filling the streets of major cities protesting about police brutality and human rights, I realized social and racial inequality was the problem my business needed to focus on. With that concept in mind, I developed my business, trying to understand how each small detail could return to the principles of equality
Q: How did you come up with the name Pekuod?
A: The name Pekuod derives from the name of the boat “Pequod” in the famous novel "Moby Dick," by Herman Melville. In the book, the boat represents a point of reunion for people coming from all over the world, so I decided to name my brand from it, and incorporate its concept of unity.
Q: How did the PYE program help you establish your business?
A: PYE has not only given me the chance to learn about entrepreneurship and business, but also helped me develop an idea, and build a business out of it. Before attending PYE, I had no idea what entrepreneurship meant and didn't really think that I could actually run a business. As I moved on with the program, however, I realized how, with some simple marketing skills, everyone can create a business from an original idea and become a true entrepreneur.
Q: What skills did you learn from the program that have been the most beneficial in helping you launch your business?
A: PYE has definitely helped me develop my financing and networking skills. Thanks to PYE, I learned what it means to start a business and the true value of money. PYE also helped me a lot by connecting with people that have helped me with my business. In fact, PYE has given me the chance to connect with experienced local entrepreneurs that gave me helpful tips and opinions on how to grow my business.
Q: What’s next for Pekuod? What do you have planned/how do you see the business growing?
A: I am planning to start my own Etsy online shop where I will be uploading pictures of my latest products, and start an advertising campaign on my social media platforms. I also already have a clothing manufacturer that is ready to manufacture and ship my clothes. Lastly, I started creating new designs, and developing a personal website. I envision Pekuod as a new, unique clothing brand that allows people to express their true self and functions as a seal to the belief of equality.
Q: What has been the most rewarding part of this whole experience?
A: I would say that the most rewarding part of this experience was the meeting I had with the judges as I noticed they were very interested and engaged in my business idea, making me realize the potential I have.
Congratulation, Giacomo! Click here to learn more about the PYE program.