Ana Pinto grew up in Parana, Brazil. Both her parents were high school teachers. By the age of twenty, she graduated with a degree in Physical Education and following her parent’s path, she became a high school teacher. However, she always had the entrepreneur passion inside of her, so she therefore opened her own gym where she taught dance for kids and fitness classes for adults.
Ana says, “It was a very successful business, but the town was too small for my dreams so I decided to sell everything and open a bigger gym in a big city, but before my city dream came true, I decided to come to the USA to get my Pilates certification since it was not offered in Brazil.”
Ana enrolled in an English school in New York City. She was eager to improve her English and she juggled three jobs to make a living. She worked as a waitress, a babysitter, and as a fit model for a clothing design company. After a few months passed, working as a fitting model, she started working as a fashion assistant designer for the same company, making line sheets, fashion concept boards, and embroidery layouts.
“I literally fell in love with the fashion industry, and two years later, I went back to Brazil to visit my family and was convinced to stay for good, but I was certain that I definitely had to go back to the USA”, states Ana.
So she decided to come back to the USA and earned her Fashion Associate Degree at FIT. As she studied in New York City, she worked as a nanny in New Jersey. She decided to specialize in children’s wear. At the end of her Children’s Wear Specialization, she received a Critic Award for the best children’s wear designer of the year, and was invited to work for a chil-dren’s wear company in New York City.
After having her two sweet boys, she decided to open a kids T-shirt company called Groovy by Nature. Her goal was to design cool, embellished tees for kids. She found a great manufacturer in Los Angeles, CA and bought fabric to produce the first 800 T-shirts, however she had to put her project on hold due to her marriage complications.
Since Groovy by Nature was already trademarked and open, she then soon decided to design jewelry on her own and work from home. Ana then tells her story of how her new project came to life.
“During working on making a bracelet I accidently cut it too short. Barely fitting a baby’s arm, an idea arose and I decided to place it around my scarf and I loved the look of it! My son Matteo who was seven years old at the time saw me wearing the short bracelet on my scarf and said: “mom millions of people will buy this from you”. At the moment, I decided to make nine more pieces and decided to sell them on my next jewelry show as my newest design “The Scarf Lock”.”
Ana tells about how customers saw her wearing a Scarf Lock and they loved it. She sold the few that she had in a heartbeat. Ana got so excited about her new invention that she decided to turn all the T-shirt fabric she had bought into scarves, to sell along with Scarf Locks. With her mother’s help, more than 300 scarves were cut and sewn and over 600 Scarf Locks were made within fifteen days!
“I still recall going to bed at 11 PM and waking up at 2:30 AM to make it to Hartford, Connecticut by 6 AM to sell my products. I was not making a lot of money at the time, however I felt very successful and saw the potential in my innovation,” says Ana.
With money earned from hustling and hard work, she had generated enough to apply for a US patent. This year, Ana opened Lock & Shine Company to primarily launch the Scarf Lock. Also, the Scarf Lock is now available through Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform. The Scarf Lock is truly a new innovation for the fashion industry. It is a modern, unique and convenient fashion accessory.
“My vision is for it to become a new fashion category” says Ana. There is really nothing like it in the market, it solves the problem of keeping a scarf in place while bringing a new look to a scarf. “Creating and launching a new product is not the easiest task. Moreover, getting a good online exposure of a product is very difficult, especially when everything in business revolves around algorithms. Launching the product through Kickstarter is helping me get more product exposure and by having my friends’ and family’s being the first buyers/backers, spreading the word, and their support is priceless!” she adds.
If you want to learn more and check all the Scarf Locks designs go on www.lockandshine.com