Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Newsmaker: Sam Sisakhti ’05

Sam Sisakhti ’05Sam Sisakhti ’05, who majored in economics at Wheaton, never studied fashion. But he has always had a great fashion sense, courtesy of his mother. “She used to always dress me up for every occasion as a child. I remember one time we went to an Easter egg hunt party. All the other kids were wearing T-shirts and shorts; my mother dressed me  up in a seersucker suit and pink shirt. At the end of the day, after running around with the other kids, the suit was ruined with all the dirt and grass stains from the Easter egg hunt. But it did not stop her from dressing me up again for future parties.” Combining a now-evolved sense of fashion with his business smarts, he launched UsTrendy.com in 2008. His goal is to help independent designers break into the fashion industry via e-commerce. He offers shoppers fashion from all over the world, while providing independent designers a place to sell their products, seek funding, and get help launching and growing their fashion lines. Currently, his database has more than 11,000 designers from over 100 countries. Many media outlets have taken note, including Inc. magazine and the Boston Business Journal. He was named one of Boston magazine’s 2011 Most Promising Innovators under 30. “We want to help indie designers break through the barriers in the industry and pursue their dreams,” Sisakhti said. “There are so many talented designers and artists in the world who do not have a platform to be discovered.” He first thought of the idea for his company as he watched many of his fashion-designer friends struggle. He had always wanted to start a business but didn’t consider it a realistic option until he took a finance job after graduate school. “After four days of being miserable at my job, I resigned. I figured that it was now or never, so I took a chance and launched UsTrendy.” His economics major has helped a great deal, he said, “especially the labor economics courses looking at employee productivity and team productivity. I use the concepts all the time when managing my team as well as when I was building it.” (And, yes, he has a walk-in closet.)

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About Sandy Coleman

Sandy Coleman is the editor of the Wheaton Quarterly and Senior Associate Director in the Communications Office.