Elyssa J. Alfieri • 32 • Concord
January 23. 2018 3:50PM
High school: Londonderry High School
College/post grad degrees: B.S., Retail Management; A.S., Fashion Merchandising from SNHU
What is the best career advice you ever received?
The best advice I’ve gotten was to be myself. Being a woman in business is sometimes difficult, and I used to think I needed to act a certain way in order to fit in or be accepted as a professional. I learned as time went on the best days were the ones where I was totally myself, regardless of the outcome — and the worst days were when I felt like I didn’t speak up. Now, I try to remain focused on being true to myself in every moment.
Why did you choose your profession?
I love fashion, but I also prioritize supporting local business and my community when I shop. I was struggling to find ways to buy the clothing I liked without supporting large corporations. Consignment/resale in a small business setting allows me to access all of the styles of clothing I like while supporting the local economy. There is so much product already out there in terms of clothing — I believe we should strive to re-purpose what we can before we buy new. Buying a brand new T-shirt for $5 sounds so convenient until you factor in the person who made the garment, the travel costs associated with shipping it to the U.S., and the retail employee who sold it to you ... suddenly it becomes clear many people must not have been compensated fairly along the way. Shopping second-hand means you may still get that T-shirt for $5, but you know you’re supporting a worthwhile small business instead of some corporate giant while you do so.
What motivates you to give back to your community?
I’ve been a big believer in volunteering my whole life, and in a city like Concord where everyone is so committed to giving back it’s hard not to pitch in any way you can! I truly believe you get out what you put in, and that if you’re going to be a business owner relying on the support of local people you need to be there helping yourself. I live in downtown Concord, I shop in downtown Concord, I own a business in downtown Concord ... so for me it’s a no-brainer to get involved locally. In a time when many struggle to find a purposeful way to make a positive impact on their surroundings, I find starting as local as possible is the most rewarding way. We often get so focused on national issues and feel like there is nothing we can do that we forget there are friends and neighbor’s lives we could be making a huge difference in today.
What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
I would say, “KEEP GOING. Everything always makes sense in the end. Say yes to opportunity (only) if it interests you, even if you can’t see the “why” yet. Sometimes the thing you’re doing is the lesson, not what you got out of it. Do not agree to things because you think you’re supposed to. No one is on a time-line, so stop comparing yours to others. You’ve got this.”
What would make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals?
I am of the belief it already is attractive to YP’s! Increasing public transportation both within cities and between them would help immensely, as would more affordable apartments in our area.
What was your last major achievement?
Finding out Lilise Designer Resale’s business model was being taught as part of the curriculum for the SNHU “Sustainability in Fashion” course. I am so proud of the way LDR is able to impact the environment as well as our local economy and to know that our business ethos is being taught to young people in the area is really rewarding.
Volunteer activities: Board member for Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, Concord Young Professionals Network, and Intown Concord. Occasionally I volunteer with the Concord Young Professional Network at the Friendly Kitchen in Concord.