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SMG alum named to BusinessWeek Top 25 list

Joanna Alberti (SMG'03) launched her own line of greeting cards and was named one of BusinessWeek's top young entrepreneurs. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

PhiloSophie’s, a small greeting-card business built around the wisdom of a fictional but fabulous woman named Sophie, was born out of School of Management alumna Joanna Alberti’s bout with insomnia. “The number of thoughts I had on my life at 3 a.m. surprised me,” Alberti (SMG’03) writes on her Web site. “Yet every woman knows that being … emotional allows you to be blatantly honest and completely hysterical.”

Now, two years after creating Sophie, Alberti has been named one of BusinessWeek’s “Best Entrepreneurs Under 25.” PhiloSophie’s, her new company, sells a line of cards and T-shirts featuring Sophie and quips such as “Wear Pumps. Take Taxis” and “Shop ’Til the Cards Won’t Swipe.” Alberti began working full-time on the company only last February, and since the BusinessWeek profile appeared, more than 11,000 new visitors have checked out www.sophiesphilosophies.com.

“It’s going really well,” Alberti says. “I’ve had a lot of exposure, a lot of different opportunities, and a lot of big learning curves.”

After graduating from Boston University in 2003, Alberti worked as an assistant media planner for the advertising agency Hill, Holiday and created Sophie merchandise as a hobby. When her family and friends began encouraging her to launch her own line of cards and gifts, she turned to the School of Management for guidance. With help from Sandra Procopio, the SMG assistant dean for undergraduate programs, and Peter Russo, the executive director of the school’s Entrepreneurial Management Institute, she gradually transitioned out of her job and officially launched PhiloSophie’s at the National Stationery Show in New York last May.

“I gave myself a long period of time to develop the idea and flesh out a plan for it,” Alberti says. “But it was more of a hobby until I said to myself, ‘I have to do this now. If I don’t, when will I?’ ”

Alberti will be holding a PhiloSophie’s holiday sale in the GSU Link on Wednesday, December 7, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.