Not many new high school graduates would think to launch a business in the summer before entering college. But 18-year-old Isabella Rolla, who will attend the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business in the fall, is raising the bar.
"It's our summer project," she said of The Riding Supplies Outlet at 356 W. Putnam Ave., which she opened in June with her 16-year-old brother Michael, a sophomore at Trinity Pawling School in Pawling, N.Y.
The business was actually Michael's idea, and they opened it with the help of their father, an investor in equine supplies.
"It's nice working with my brother," said Isabella. "We get to make our own hours but, we're both in during the busy times."
The store has everything an equestrian might need, from riding pants to blankets, at 50 percent off the retail price.
"There's not really many tack shops in this area," Isabella said. "That's what everyone keeps saying when they come in. They'll pass by and realize they don't have to go to Bedford or New Canaan for the closest tack shop."
The duo put flyers on car windows at horse shows and visited local barns to help promote the business. Isabella said they have had a great response from visitors.
Isabella isn't sure if she and Michael will reopen next summer. But for now, she's having fun and getting great business experience.
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