As the temperature drops, the need for something cozy arises – the wintertime chill signals that it’s officially sweater weather! Of course, for Madi Cruz, the cooler weather is more than just a backdrop for bundling up with a holiday movie: it’s an opportunity to uphold her grandfather’s legacy in the most heartwarming way possible.
Madi is a 15-year-old freshman at Saugus High School, but she’s also a small business owner, a leader, and an inspirer. Earlier this year, while shopping on Melrose with a friend, she was struck with inspiration when a vintage clothing store brought back the memory of her beloved grandfather, who she’d lost to Alzheimer’s earlier on.
The idea itself was simple – selling vintage sweaters to honor her grandfather’s legacy, and to simultaneously raise awareness for Alzheimer’s in the hopes of one day finding a cure. There is one more layer to her small business story, however.
Back in the 90s, Madi’s grandparents had run their own vintage sweater business, which helped give her a head start. Using her grandmother’s impressive inventory from back in the day presented the perfect opportunity for her to get the ball rolling, and from that one moment of inspiration came the idea for Sweater Weather.
Sweater Weather started out as a physical concept, with Madi’s plans to sell the sweaters through pop up shops and local Etsy events. However, once the pandemic hit earlier in the year, she was quickly left to readjust to the new climate of ecommerce and figuring out how to best suit her customers’ needs.
“The communication and customer experience is key,” she says. “That’s our main feedback – we have great communication in keeping customers updated with anything they may need to know.”
Since its humble beginnings in January, Sweater Weather has expanded significantly – she’s built up a customer base on apps like Poshmark, Etsy, Vinted, Mercari, and Depop, all of which have helped her not only grow her business but keep the memory of her grandfather alive, too.
Perhaps the most rewarding part for her is being able to contribute to the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s. As a Youth Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association, Madi has worked tirelessly to utilize her business skills for the better – and it all comes back to her grandfather.
“Being able to bring the community of people who have been affected by this disease together is something that I find very rewarding,” she shares. “I am so grateful that I get to show my appreciation and help fund the search for a cure in honor of my Tata with every sweater sale.”
Sweater Weather is not just a small business: it’s a tradition, carried over three generations of a family brought together by love, compassion, and dedication.
As of early December, Sweater Weather has sold 300 sweaters, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Madi. Going forward, she hopes to sell out her sweater inventory completely and branch into her t-shirt line in the spring of 2021, alongside her continued hunt for a world without Alzheimer’s.
You can find Sweater Weather on Etsy at @SweaterWeatherCoShop, on Instagram at @sweater.weather.company, on Depop @sweaterweatherco, and on Poshmark @sweaterposh
ADVERTISE WITH US
Can you believe we are in 2021 already? As we come up to the first anniversary of the 2020 pandemic, I am pleased to see light at the end of the tunnel with the introduction of several different vaccines now on the market. I hope everyone is staying healthy. And now,...
When you’re having a quiet night at home and suddenly you hear sirens buzzing in the near distance and all you can think about is what in the world is going on? You quickly find a local news channel either on the radio or television and you get your answer. Have you...
Do you share a home with grandparents, parents and kids? Bringing multiple generations of a family under one roof can be rewarding and a good source of support. But during a pandemic, it poses some extra challenges. Grandparents, for instance, may be at higher risk...