Alumna Finds Business Niche in Most Unexpected Place and Time
By Hope Martin '19
Tiffany Troiano '08 Bard has always been a fashionista at heart.
"My favorite pastime had always been drawing fashion sketches and dreaming about one day owning my own line," Bard says. "I never would have imagined, though, that it would be in maternity wear."
But, as the business administration major quickly realized while pregnant with her firstborn, there was a definitive business opportunity in maternity fashion. Unable to find stylish, versatile and well-made maternity clothes, Bard says, "I decided to draw and develop some styles of my own."
Hence, Tiff.Marie Maternity was born. The Chicago-based brand produces fashionable maternity clothing made for use throughout the trimesters of pregnancy, and while postpartum and nursing. Bard says her "keen eye for design" was inherited from her grandmother Rose, who worked as a costume designer for 1940s figure-skating champion Sonja Henie.
Yet, upon graduating from Susquehanna, Bard initially took a more traditional career path. As she explains on the company's website, tiffmariematernity.com, "I spent my earlier career burning the midnight oil on Wall Street."
Along the way, she worked for companies like Morgan Stanley, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and GE Capital. But after returning every piece of maternity wear she bought online, she decided to take the plunge and start her own business.
After polling other new moms with similar frustrations and receiving positive feedback on her own fashion, she knew she'd found a viable business niche. Putting her marketing and finance background to work, she created a company website and social media presence, and found a local seamstress, manufacturer and fabric company to launch her line--all while on maternity leave.
"By identifying and meeting a market need, my business continues to grow through word-of-mouth and social media outreach," Bard says.
Since launching the line, Bard has taken what she calls a "mom-preneurial" hiatus from the corporate world to fully dedicate herself to her company and raising her son.