Randall Benton / rbenton@sacbee.com

Marisa Minasian, left, and Terry Buccat, former high school classmates, produce yoga apparel under the Morris Terry label.

Cathie Anderson: Clothing business fulfills teens' crazy dream

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 - 7:40 am

A crazy dream bonded Marisa Minasian and Terry Buccat back when they were classmates at the Home of the Mighty Matadors, back when Marisa went by the nickname Morris, yeah, way back before college.

They split up after Mira Loma High School – Minasian to University of California, Santa Cruz, and Buccat to University of California, Berkeley.

They kept in touch, though, and the old, crazy dream wouldn't die. In fact, it got stronger once Buccat finished her degree in public health and Minasian completed a double major in psychology and art history.

It led Buccat to study French pattern making at Apparel Arts in San Francisco and Minasian to earn an associate's degree in fashion design at American River College. Both worked in retail: Buccat at Club Monaco and Gymboree, Minasian at Nordstrom. Each worked in design departments for clothiers.

Then, one day in January 2010, they started living that crazy, old dream.

"We just educated ourselves separately in the (fashion) industry," Minasian told me, "and one day came together and decided to start our own clothing line because we had been working for other people and going to school for it. We just felt ready."

The 28-year-old partners produce yoga apparel under the Morris Terry label, morristerry.com, and all their clothing is made in California. They live with their parents as they funnel all money into the startup.

Until now, "we've been online mostly," Minasian told me, "and our stuff has been in other people's boutiques all over the United States. … I think it's about 25, 30 stores nationally."

A few months ago, they opened a boutique in midtown Sacramento. It's a reason to discover what lies up those curious stairs between Tapa the World and Kasbah Lounge at 2115 J St.

Watkins didn't get burned

It pays to be right when you're an arbiter of what's cool, and Aaron Watkins, a co-founder of Appency, was plenty right last year. Watkins' Appency pitches the media on its clients' apps and games for mobile phones and tablets.

He succeeds only if his apps are cooler than everyone else's. Last year, he scored with "ARC Squadron," the game in which players protect the universe from an evil race of guardians.

"It got literally more than 100,000 downloads in one day," Watkins said.

The agency also helped Random House with the release of its guide to George R.R. Martin's red-hot "Game of Thrones."

The result: "We doubled in size and revenue," Watkins said. "We moved to near Temple Coffee and Revolution Winery … because we got bigger."

Appency already suggests ways that developers can make apps better, Watkins told me, and he thinks the logical next step for his firm is going into app development.

Wait, there's more …

California Fresh, the restaurant chain that is reopening some former Fresh Choice locations, opened its Roseville eatery Friday at 2030 Douglas Blvd. California Fresh will serve soup, salad and other dishes in the same buffet style that Fresh Choice used, and its leadership includes the former president of Fresh Choice. Steve Morgan, a restaurant industry veteran who's leading the charge locally, told me that, just as he did with the restaurant at 535 Howe Ave. in Sacramento, the Roseville location has hired many of the Fresh Choice employees who were let go. …

Daunte Burks, the young Sacramento funnyman who had plans to expand his comedy shows to venues in Oakland and San Francisco, told me recently that those plans have been put on hold. The owners of the Oakland venue parted ways, and San Francisco hasn't yet ramped up. Burks has been doing shows for nearly two years, and in 2012, he was able to lure big names such as Michael Colyar, Esau McGraw and Paul Mooney. His next Funny Friday Comedy Show will be Feb. 1 at Sekou's BBQ, 455 Bercut Drive. Learn more at burksizm.com. …

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