A handmade, custom streetwear line.
Have you ever wanted cooler Saint Joes merch than the bookstore has, custom shoes, or handmade streetwear? Look no further than SJU’s own student body. Junior Marie Giacobbe and her apparel company “Caged Butterfly” have been a huge success since her freshman year. I got the chance to chat with Marie about her immense success from the beginning in 2018 to today. Wondering where such a different and interesting name comes from? I was too. There is a family significance with butterflies stemming from the amazing women that have inspired Marie to date. She explained to me that the “caged” aspect is there to represent the freedom butterflies have brought to her life, which she hopes to tie into her clothing.
From hand painting to screen printing, Caged Butterfly has taken on its own pair of wings that even Marie could have never seen coming.
“My whole life I’ve always loved creating and doing arts and crafts, but it actually started my freshman year when I was in Lafarge. My roommates and I were bored so we broke out acrylic paints and old birkenstocks… When I wore them to class the next day these girls asked where I got them. When I told them I painted them they asked if they gave me their old sandals would I paint them…It honestly was an accident I didn’t even mean to start a business”Marie Giacobbe
Anyone that meets Marie or interacts with the Caged Butterfly instagram would see how much she cares for and has fallen in love with what she does. Not having a typical 9-5 job may sound intimidating to some people, but Marie considers her clothing a form of her art. Although she knows she may need to give herself more “me” time, she has never regretted letting Caged Butterfly become what it is today and the stories it has brought to her life.
“One time I was in line for saxbys and I paused my music to order and I heard these two freshman girls behind me whispering ‘oh my god is that Caged Butterfly’ so I turned around and said hi”Marie Giacobbe
After learning all of this I bet you want to know how to purchase her apparel. Not only does Caged Butterfly have an Instagram account, Marie has been coordinating with Beth Hagovski since the business started to bring SJU their very own pop-up shops at different events and in Campion. These pop-ups got the student body so excited that Caged Butterfly has started doing custom group collaborations with organizations and clubs on campus. The best thing to come from these pop-ups has been the smiles Marie felt that she has brought to customers and seeing that represented on campus
“It’s literally the best, it makes my day. I can be in line for coffee somewhere and the person in front of me could have my earrings on”Marie Giacobbe
This company is right under our noses and is truly an inspiring story to follow. I think everyone should take a page out of the Caged Butterfly book and do what you love.