Alumni think up an Ideologie

Article by: Angela Bray

How does a class project succeed into a business? Ask Suffolk alums Moy Romano, Mark Grignon, and Jaime Bucay, who formed a business as a result of their senior entrepreneurship project.

The entrepreneurs founded Ideologie, a sustainable, organic clothing company, on the beliefs of love, hope, awareness, education, and art. The innovative business concept aims to link social entrepreneurship, sustainability, social responsibility, philanthropy and philosophy to fashionable self-expression.

“The Suffolk University business program helped make [Ideologie] happen, along with our passion. We are not only strong, but we are very passionate to do something positive and possible,” said Romano. “We have a drive to converse with individuals as we try to make a statement about being environmentally conscious and socially responsible.”

Products boast high-quality organic materials, original artwork, and inspiring messages. Artwork is mainly that of NESAD artists Monasita, Bianca Pettinicchi, Hope Reagan, Dora Elliot, and Lauren Fredette. The majority of the first t-shirt line is mostly designed by Monasita (aka Maria del Carmen Perez). “That first line was surprising as we learned new things; it was interesting and exciting,” said Romano. The second line features artists from other schools in addition to the NESAD students.

Although Ideologie does not have its own brick-and-mortar store, merchandise is available through its online store and in different boutiques internationally. Currently, retailers are located worldwide, including stores in Milan, New York, Mexico, and Canada.

“Everyone likes fashion in their own way,” said Grignon. Not all shirts display a written message, yet each design has a meaning behind it. Examples of messages are “Life is the artistic rise of livin’ n’ lovin’; time, the gel that holds it all together” and the Einstein quote, “Remember your humanity and forget the rest.”

Ideologie focuses on social concerns and is committed to make socially beneficial activism sustainable, replicable, and scalable. Two percent of each t-shirt sale is donated to the Acumen Fund, a non-profit organization that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. “When you donate, you want to help out,” said Romano. “It’s important to search for different projects to help communities, invest, and show people how to become profitable.”

When asked the most enjoyable part of the job, Grignon said, “The randomness is exciting, and you never know who will call.”

“We have a great time with everything,” said Romano. Running a business, however, is not all fun and games. “It’s hard to break into the market,” he said, as it is challenging to become known and exposed. “People are very comfortable with what they already wear, and it may be hard for them to find an open mindset and leave that comfort zone. We’re young, and need to have people understand what we’re trying to do; they may think we aren’t serious or experienced enough.”

Ideologie was recently given coverage in the Boston Globe, as well as being exposed on the Internet.  According to Romano, Ideologie’s greatest marketing is viral. “That’s very powerful for us, and we believe we have the support we need,” he said. Ideologie promotes on Facebook, Twitter, and its main website,

On Suffolk’s campus, the three alums have set up sales in the Sawyer building. “We have been working on [the business] for about three years, and, in that time, people have begun to hear about us. Between the three of us, we know different people from our own classes and groups of friends. Professors even come over to see what we are up to,” said Grignon.

“More students are wearing Ideology and becoming a part of it,” said Romano.

The NESAD artists, along with William Davis and Molly Ferguson, are members of the “Ideologie Familie.” Also involved is Suffolk’s entrepreneurship department (George Moker, Suzyn Ornstein, Sushil Bhatia, Mark Horowitz, Thomas Kenworthy, and Karen Bishop). “We have gratitude for all of these people, and are extremely thankful to have them all,” said Romano.

How can aspiring entrepreneurs succeed? “Find passion, and apply yourself completely,” said Romano. “Don’t be afraid to do, don’t be afraid to try, and don’t be afraid to fail.”