Ryan Rossi '13
Creative Writing | Rye, N.Y.
I wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and attack the day. There’s so much going on. I don’t want to miss any of it.
I like to think of myself as a serious student, an up-and-coming businessman and a pretty fly dresser. When I started my company—Paradigm Wear—I found something that combined all of my interests. It’s pretty cool, really. We came up with a phrase that describes people who embrace the full Paradigm experience – they’re “Digmers.” That’s me. I’m a true Digmer.
As the co-founder and CEO of a growing streetwear fashion company, I’ve enjoyed many opportunities that are not usually available to college students. I’ve had to write business plans and present them to companies like Mitchell and Ness, which is now owned by Adidas. I’ve met celebrities like Queen Latifah and Ludacris, and Super Bowl-winning athletes, and I’ve won endorsements from them for our products.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the encouragement of my professors. I respect them so much. I talk to them all the time. And they’ve really helped me develop my writing skills so that I could make my company succeed.
At one point I thought about changing my major from creative writing to finance, so I sat down with Dr. Tom Bailey. He reminded me that writing is one of the most important skills a person can have. He said it would teach me to be a creative thinker and that would make me a better businessperson. He was so right.
I’ve always been a competitor. In high school, I was an all-state football star. Today, I still have that competitive spirit. I want my company to be more than just successful. I want to take it global! Last December, Paradigm Wear launched its first official line, which included a long-sleeve shirt, a crew neck, a hoodie and a few snapback hats. We’re already in stores in New York City and Queens. One of these days, I’m sure you’ll see our label in the most discriminating street wear fashion shops everywhere.
Paradigm Wear is currently the number one student-run apparel business in the country. We plan to open up a store in Pittsburgh within the next year. I have partnered up with NFL veteran Ike Taylor to develop more products for our street wear line. I am also writing more than ever and hope to publish a book within the next year.
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