McKINNEY — Gabby Vannozzi has an eye for fashion, a heart for what’s fair and the passion to put them both to work. In June, the 2012 graduate of McKinney Boyd High School launched an online apparel business called All Good Things that blends the seemingly disparate worlds of fashion and social justice.
“Basically I only sell things that have a cause attached to them,” said Vannozzi, now a sophomore Apparel Studies major at the University of Arkansas.
Photos courtesy of Gabby Vannozzi
2012 McKinney Boyd High School graduate Gabby Vannozzi
Her business philosophy is rooted in the principles of the Fair Trade Federation, an organization that seeks to ensure fair compensation for workers in developing countries.
“My products are mainly Fair Trade items from women artisans in third world countries,” said Vannozzi. “Part of the Fair Trade Federation approach is that they pay artisans a fair price. They want to make sure that that the artisans are getting enough to actually make a living and get themselves out of poverty,” said Vannozzi.
The story behind All Good Things spans two continents and three states: Last fall, Vannozzi left her home in Texas bound for the University of Arkansas where she discovered popular bracelets made in Nepal. She wore the bracelets on a trip to Florida where everyone raved about them, and the idea took off from there.
“I did some research and my mom helped me run with it. Then it just all kind of happened,” said Vannozzi.
And, All Good Things was born.
Vannozzi sought out suppliers, enlisted the aid of a friend with professional web design experience, shot her own photos and launched a bright, stylish site that reflects the sense of fun and hope behind it.
“Business has been really good so far,” said Vannozzi. “The first month was a little better than the second sales-wise, but I’m expecting things to pick back up around school time.”
And, with classes getting underway soon, Vannozzi will have her first try at juggling college coursework while running an online business. But, she’s not worried by the prospect. “I think it will be like going to school while working a part time job. I’m so grateful to have the support of Arkansas Greek Life and my Kappa Delta sorority sisters as they are willing to help me with my business endeavor any way they can.”
That business endeavor came as no surprise to Vannozzi’s mother, Leslie Lewis, who said that Vannozzi began developing her own sense of style at a young age. “From age 5 or 6, she had a clear opinion of what clothes she liked (or didn’t like)!”
Photos courtesy of Gabby Vannozzi
All Good Things promotional photo.
As that sense of style developed into a passion for the business of apparel, another conviction grew alongside it.
“She soon developed a real desire to impact women in a positive way,” said Lewis. “She became involved in several organizations like The Secret Drawer Society, attended TedX events and focused on helping people feel good about who they are — with a focus on women. I am truly thankful that MISD provided such a variety of ways to get involved and help promote a foundation for giving back.”
Vannozzi hopes that All Good Things will inspire others to make a difference. “I hope that people will see it and be inspired that it’s possible. If businesses give back, it means little things make a big difference. So, I hope that people will want to give back more and support more businesses that do that.”
That message is echoed on the All Good Things website: “We think you should feel good about the design and style of your product,” it reads, “but also about the positive impact you are making on someone’s life around the world.”
For Gabby Vannozzi, this fall holds the promise of a growing business, pursuit of her lifelong love of fashion and the knowledge that she is doing her part to foster fairness and social justice in the marketplace.
And those are all good things.
For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About McKinney ISD
One of the fastest growing school districts in Texas, the McKinney Independent School District currently enrolls more than 24,000 students in 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, one alternative school and one early childhood education school. The mission of McKinney ISD, the champion for progressive learning throughout the diverse McKinney community, is to inspire and equip all students to explore, develop and express their unique potential as innovators, critical thinkers and collaborators through challenging, engaging and diverse learning experiences in vital partnership with the community. Visit the district's website at mckinneyisd.net.