A Business Model That Sticks

A Business Model That Sticks

Acceptance packages were full of a fun surprise this year! Each student selected for admission to Roland Park Country School opened her acceptance package this past winter to find a hand-made personalized monogram decal, created by a company started right here at RPCS. 

The Sassy Starfish Monogram Company was founded by Katie Connors and Emma McDonnell, both from the class of 2022. They began their adventure in entrepreneurship in 2016, when they were in seventh grade at RPCS. At first, they casually sold monogrammed decals to their classmates and friends, until a teacher suggested that they run a booth at the annual RPCS Holiday Fair that December. They did and sold 100 monograms in one day. The following year, they participated in the Holiday Fair again and more than doubled their profits.

Shortly thereafter, Roland Park Country School’s director of entrepreneurship at the time reached out to Emma and Katie to help them develop a business plan. Together, they brainstormed ideas to expand the company. With the support of the RPCS community, Sassy Starfish is more successful than ever. Emma and Katie sold about 300 decals in 2018 and created approximately 350 decals (140 generic ones and 210 personalized monograms with every accepted student’s initials) for this year’s admissions packages.

Naming the company was one of the most difficult decisions in planning their monogram business, but Emma and Katie chose a perfect name that capture their fun personalities and resilient spirits. Starfish are able to regrow damaged limbs and bounce back from difficulties they encounter.

“Starting a business can be a rocky road with many ups and downs. By including a starfish in our name and logo, we are constantly reminded of its tenacity and courage when we come face to face with a problem. So, our name really showcases our personalities and some guidance for this journey that we have gone through together,” explained Katie.

This year, Katie and Emma will consider expanding their business model and are exploring opportunities for philanthropic outreach. “It’s very important to us to make a difference using our business and we would like to consider donating some of our profits to charity,” said Emma.

With their creativity, collaboration skills and eagerness to lead for the greater good, the future is bright for these two entrepreneurs!

Sassy Starfish Founders Emma and Katie, Class of 2022.