We are so proud of Deborah! This article was recently posted to WIT the magazine of Wentworth Institute of Technology.
It’s a challenge every fashionista faces daily, in cluttered drawers and cramped cabinets: the struggle to contain unruly nail polish. Now, thanks to longtime friends and Wentworth classmates Stephanie Nannariello, BIND ’14, and Deborah Massaro, BARC ’14, a new product may soon make this worry a thing of the past.
This startup story began in Rockland County, N.Y., where Nannariello and Massaro grew up, friends since first grade. In high school, they found themselves in a technology class that required a capstone project. Stumped for ideas, they combined their admitted affinity for nail polish (and the out-of-control stash each possessed) with Nannariello’s longtime love of castles into a PVC-tubing organizer for the cosmetic.
The duo took their creations to the dorms at Wentworth, where the towers soon became an object of envy for their new roommates. “It started out as a fun project,” Massaro says. “But people really liked it.”
Roommates weren’t the only admirers. Massaro and Nannariello pitched their idea to judges at Accelerate, Wentworth’s innovation and entrepreneurship center, where the product was a big hit. The experience was a key turning point in their venture—which they dubbed Simply Stored—and in the budding entrepreneurs’ careers. “I thought, ‘Are we really making a business here?’” Massaro remembers. Accelerate advisers helped them fine-tune their pitch and refine
their design. The castle eventually evolved into an oversize nail-polish bottle shaped canister that rotates to give access to the various polishes inside, and is translucent to display the range of colors now at your fingertips.
“I don’t think anything would have come from it if Accelerate didn’t exist,” Nannariello explains. “They really loved the idea and thought it would be a great idea to push to market. Without them, it would’ve just been a fun hobby.”