Banner

Chic Spotlight: Gearing Up for Adventure PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sara Celi   
Thursday, 14 July 2011 09:49

Chic Spotlight: Gearing Up for Adventure
Professional soccer-player-turned-fashion-designer Renee' Balconi talks with
Cincy Chic about the inspiration for her unique hat design and shares what will be her next adventure.

 

07182011SPOTLIGHT.jpgFor years, Renee' Balconi got her kicks on the soccer field, playing at a level that allowed her to travel the world. She played in remote places, under all kinds of climates as a professional soccer star before returning to Mason for a chance to start her own soccer training facility. Now, she's taken her firsthand knowledge of the needs of an athlete and used it to create Balconi Gear, a line of upscale athletic hats sold in 23 states and two Canadian provinces.

 

Cincy Chic: What was the inspiration for Balconi Gear?
Renee' Balconi:
My inspiration is my family. My father told me at an early age to find my passion and make a living out of it and that I would always be happy. For most of my life, it was soccer. And through my journeys, I had met many individuals who thought such a way of life did not exist. A new passion overcame me a few years ago - to be "family" to anyone and everyone, so that their dreams are reality. I decided to create a brand that represents a feeling and believes in who they are called Balconi Gear.

 

Cincy Chic: What should people know about the hat? What makes it different?
Balconi:
I designed the Balconi Hat a few years back and sat quietly on the design until I met Lindsey Noteboom, my business partner. She saw a vision of what Balconi could be and assisted me in patenting the Balconi Hat and launching our brand. All Balconi Gear is proudly made in the U.S.! Our Balconi Hat was recently selected as one of the new hottest items not just for outdoor/indoor accessories. One size fits all, and it's for everyone!

 

Cincy Chic: Have you always wanted to design clothing?
Balconi:
I have always thought I may design clothes with a function. Throughout my travels with soccer, I would come across great clothing design and unique accessories. Although these products were very stylish, they lacked a function that would have been useful. I thought if I were to design clothing one day, I would design clothing and accessories that were not only stylish, but functional.

 

Cincy Chic: Tell us a little bit more about your background.
Balconi:
I played soccer at the University of Cincinnati. During my freshman year, I started my first soccer camp at the age of 18. After four years of soccer at UC, I wanted to keep living my passion and continued on to play professional soccer in Iceland, and the past five years I have played gave me an insight to the athletic accessory and apparel world. In my off seasons, I would travel for Kelme and became a pro performance trainer, while continuing to hold camps all over. During this time, I also started designing Balconi Hats and sketching out other functional material I wish was made. Today, we own Balconi Top Training, located in Mason. We train the top athletes from ages 10 to professionals and give them all the tools for them to find their own personal success on and off the field. Today Balconi Gear headquarters stands in Mason as well and our products are manufactured and distributed throughout the U.S.

 

Cincy Chic: What has been the most amazing part of this adventure in your life?
Balconi:
The most amazing part of this adventure has been the people. I've always believed that every person tells his or her own personal story in his or her eyes. If one takes the time to read that story, it's amazing how much more of a person you become and they become. Think about it: With every story comes a lesson, a solution and experience. I have learned to take the best of every person's story and make it a part of Balconi. On the other end, we also have been able to tell our story of Balconi and give the gift of feeling to people all over the world. To be able to give the gift of feeling, how lucky am I?

 

Cincy Chic: What has been the most unexpected part of this adventure?
Balconi:
The most unexpected part of this adventure is just how many people we have actually been able to reach and create such a feeling for in such a short amount of time. We officially launched Balconi Gear last summer at the Outdoor Retailer show, nine months or so ago. We have been selected and featured in a variety of magazines, along with being selected as one of the top hottest new outdoor brands at the winter Outdoor Retailer show, which was only six months after we officially launched. I have had the opportunity to launch Balconi Gear to the New York media outlets these past few months and meet producers and editors of our most popular magazines and shows in the U.S. I look back at our journey so far and think, "Wow! Look how many people we have met already, and it's just the beginning."

 

Cincy Chic: What's next for your company and Balconi Gear?
Balconi:
We have learned that every day something new and unexpected might happen. Therefore, we live the moments today and prepare for the opportunities tomorrow. I can tell you this: Our passion is to be the brand that brings back feeling and a brand that believes in you.


Click on the webcast below to learn more about Renee' Balconi and Balconi Gear.

Sara Celi -

Sara Celi is a contributor to Cincy Chic and a reporter for FOX19. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Read More >>


More articles by this author

Diplomacy Through EducationDiplomacy Through Education
Diplomacy Through Education   One of our staff writers went to Guatemala...
Read More >>
Cool CottonCool Cotton
Cool Cotton In the renaissance taking place in OTR, one businesswoman...
Read More >>
Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2011 07:29
 

subscribegraphic

eventsgraphic


We have 1814 guests online
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner