Winning, Losing and Propelling Forward
Erin Brady knows what it means to both win and lose. Her natural instinct is all about forging ahead, taking losses as lessons and as a challenge as she continually moves forward. Erin graduated from Central Connecticut State University in 2010 with a degree in Finance and a minor in Criminal Justice. Brady competed in the Miss USA 2013 competition, representing the state of Connecticut, where she was crowned Miss USA, becoming the first delegate from Connecticut to win this title. She came up short in her bid for Miss Universe, but that did not stop her drive toward continued wins.
Erin is a unique alumni of Draper University, not only because she is a former Miss USA, but because she attended Draper University with her husband Tony Capasso who had taken the online course and loved the experience.
“We decided to come to California to experience the program first hand, because we both wanted to open our own businesses. The idea of being around like minded and innovative people all of the time for seven weeks was just what we needed to expand our ideas. I knew that this would be the best way to fully submerge ourselves in an environment that would be beneficial for the goals we wanted to achieve.”
Erin attended a fouryear college and after completing the Draper University program she sees several differences in the style of education when compared to her college experience. She commented that the amount of emphasis on channeling your inner child and being encouraged to fail and fail again was absolutely important at DU. Students in the program are taught very differently than they are in a traditional school. It is a much more hands on environment which she found to be very beneficial, because you learn through trial and error versus having to take exams and memorize ways to do things in business. The hands on activities paired with sessions with experienced entrepreneurs was much more impactful for Erin and her peers.
Romeo, Romeo Wherefore Art Thou Romeo
Erin came to Draper University with a vision...
“I have always run into problems with my husband and his gift finding inabilities. Not just for me, but for his mom and sisters too. Not to mention, many of my friends have complained about not receiving great gifts and men tell me that they have no idea what to buy that special someone. Knowing that this leads to a lot of arguments, I decided to create a business that would help men solve this perplexing problem.”
Erin’s solution is Romeo in a box, a personalized gift service designed to help a busy man (and clueless ones too) find the perfect gifts for the woman he loves. The service plans ahead for all of the special occasions he may need a gift for. As each occasion approaches the Romeo team creates a customized gift box and sends it directly to him allowing him to present his loved one with a special present any way he wishes to.
And Now For Pitch Day and The Rest of Her Life...
Like all of the other students, Erin got her chance to pitch the Romeo in a Box idea at Pitch Day. While she thinks she did a great job, she felt it was hard to compare herself to everyone else when every single student has many different ideas for businesses and are at different levels in their careers. This, in her opinion, is not a bad thing.
Erin’s experience has opened her eyes into her strengths and weaknesses. She has learned so much about being her own boss and the struggles that go along with starting a business. She is now focusing on partnerships as well the logistics of running the business. Erin is also working on the development of the website. Soon she will start marketing and then see where it goes from there. In her mind the only way from here is up. And as for her experience at Draper University...
“I would encourage anyone that was interested in Draper University to definitely take the leap and pursue it. There is no real way to describe how it changes you and makes you think so differently. We had access to some of the most incredible people we could have only dreamt of meeting and we were able to network firsthand with them. Also, you learn so much about yourself and how you deal with other people that think just like you. The international aspect of the students was very exciting too because you learn about businesses in different countries. Draper University is one of a kind and it is a privilege to be chosen to participate in this program.”