Published 01/15/16

Alumni famly clothing businessMichela Morrison ’16 with her uncle, Joseph Spallone ’83, and mother, Rosalie (Spallone) Morrison ’86, take their family business to the next level.

Alumni family business benefits from Bryant class project

When your business colleague is a college student, it’s important to “keep an open mind,” said Rosalie (Spallone) Morrison ’86. “As a 50-year-old, my mind is very different than a 21-year-old mind.” She learns something every day at Rose’s Corner Boutique, where she works with her daughter, Michela Morrison ’16, a Bryant senior majoring in accounting.

Thanks to the project that Michela and several fellow first-year students fulfilled for their honors’ level Business 101 class (now Global Foundations), Rosalie established Rose’s Corner Boutique, which sells clothing for middle-aged women, in 2013. While Michela and her classmates, notably John Logan ’16, designed and implemented marketing and social media strategies and researched key business issues, Rosalie brought her retail experience to the initiative.

“We’re fortunate to be able to bounce ideas off each other.”

“We have to hear each other and understand where the other one is coming from,” said Michela.

Rosalie, her brother Joseph Spallone ’83, and their mother Velia Spallone own and operate Spallone & Son Menswear, a men’s clothing store founded in 1979 in Milford, MA, by Velia and her late husband. In 1990, when the store doubled in size, Rosalie joined the business. Housed in Spallone & Son Menswear, Rose’s Corner Boutique exists because of the Bryant class project, said Rosalie.

“We should have done this years ago; I was a little bit afraid before,” said Rosalie. “Michela has an entirely different perspective on business.”

Michela juggles Rose’s Corner Boutique’s online and accounting responsibilities with her academic career and work as a loan processor.

“It’s been great … to be able to work together,” said Michela, who taught Rosalie to promote the boutique via Facebook and Instagram.

“She knows how to get vendors, what the trends are, and what to order.” Although the clientele is older than Michela, she said, “My fashion sense has changed after seeing certain clothes on the mannequin.”

Michela, Rosalie said, is open to new and different ideas. “I’ve instilled work ethic, attitude, and morale in her, but she’s taught me so much in the past few years,” she said. “We’re fortunate to be able to bounce ideas off each other.”

The class project earned an “A,” noted Michela.