About AS and Our Vision
Hello and Benvenuto:
Welcome to Antonio Stefano; I will endeavor to share with you what we are all about. Our concept is a simple one. I am a business lawyer who loves all animals, but have a fondness for dogs. Dogs are the most domesticated, most emotional, and most giving. However, they are often abused in ways I cannot
describe; it is painful to imagine what those poor souls have endured at the hands of the very people they thought were their human family.
Dogs who are abused and abandoned (ie no family) are the first to get euthanized. I don't want that to
be their only experience of living with people, and living period. I want to raise money and show these dogs that there is a different side to living; and so many wonderful people who would love them dearly. I want to show them that humans are not someone to fear. Something happened, and it inspired me to help them, as no one really speaks up for that group; they have no one in their corner.
I started by producing big events and, ironically, fashion shows, in San Diego but they took about 3 months to create and did not raise as much money as we needed for all the abused dogs out there when the average med bill is $5000 for an abusive experience.
I then came up with the idea of creating a company that would make money on a repetitive basis; I loved fashion and started with men's neckties. There was an absence of unique and fashionable ties on the market after Gianni's passing, and no company really embraced that niche. Most ties also seem to come in one size only, and so I made them in 3 sizes to cover my friends who are 6'5" as well as those who are 5'2", and of course those in-between.
Realizing there is a (relatively) limited market for high-end ties in this day and age where casual is the order of the day, I realized Antonio Stefano could do much more if we entered the ladies' ready to wear market as well. I knew very little about inside workings of the fashion industry, so in 2018 I worked full time and simultaneously went to fashion school for a year. That wonderful education has opened my eyes to a number of directions I can take this company in order to raise money for dogs for years to come. However, one thing at a time.
COVID came into being. I worked with a brilliant artist, Matt Forderer in San Diego, who helped me repurpose the Italian tie designs into mask designs and voila...we have 15 different masks for you to choose from. In addition to a world-class look, I used my degree in biochemistry and genetics and had discussions with some scientists regarding the virology aspect. My goal was to create a mask that not only looks good, but protects the person wearing it, which really doesn't seem to be a priority on the market.
Finally, I got to use my fashion school education in order to work with our wonderful manufacturing facility in order to create a mask with wicking qualities, especially as the virus attaches to water droplets and can remain in the air 3 hours after the person left. Given we cannot access great protection in the US, this is the mask 'I' feel comfortable wearing anywhere, and I hope you find the same comfort in its protective value. After that, our marketing ideas naturally emerged:
If you have to wear one, at least do so with style....it will speak volumes about you before you speak a word! More importantly, wear one that can save your life.
In order to save more money, at this time our law firm is handling all of the
administrative aspects of Antonio Stefano free of charge. Our goal is to have 100% of the money we donate to go to dogs' veterinary needs. Although we state we donate 25% of our net profits to dogs, I intend to donate a lot more but I do require operating capital, inventory, etc etc etc. We will be connecting with organizations such as the ASPCA and if they guarantee us that 100% of our funds go towards the veterinary bills, they will have the money.
The average dog who has been abused requires at least $5000 in medical care. We cannot make enough money for all the abuse out there. Yes, we have a 501(c)(3) but Antonio Stefano is not a non-profit (as this allows much more leeway in rapid business decision making) but the profits feed to the non-profit and then is disbursed to the veterinarians. As the firm grows, we will have more sources of revenue that will help us donate even more money to dogs.
Thank you for supporting Antonio Stefano. We do not intend to sell any single product based on the fact that we help dogs. They all should stand on their own feet based on quality, durability, design, and utility. We hope you enjoy your purchase and it brings you much good luck (we have heard a lot of stories from people wearing our ties and great things happening...we can't explain it, but yes, it's true).
One last note, but far from least,,,,people often ask who is Antonio. Antonio is my late younger brother who was an international flight attendant. In his chats with business class passengers he heard many complaints about purses, so in his spare time designed purses and bags, and had a very successful line. He also supported dogs; his favorite breed was the Pitbull Terrier, and he showed me the very loving side of those dogs long before I knew of their reputation. He would take care of homeless Pitbulls awaiting adoption. He is a great inspiration to me and it's only fitting his name should be in the company, as he would have made a wonderful partner in this most enjoyable venture.
Your Creative Director
(aka Steven Riznyk in the business world)