Waves and Wardrobes Success Story

Jeanne Ware, Owner

Waves and Wardrobes, LLC

May 1, 2022 - Branford, CT

When Jeanne thought about how to start a business around her passion for creating costumes and her skill at designing and creating custom marine upholstery, she thought she had to choose. CTSBDC Business Advisor Mary Kay Della Camera knew immediately she wouldn't have to - that her business could be built around both! Waves and Wardrobes was born.

business started

Business Started


In 2021, Jeanne arrived in Connecticut with the dream of reinventing herself in the post-COVID world. A passionate recreational sewer for 50 years she decided to take the plunge and contacted Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC) to receive guidance on starting her business.

Partnered with Business Advisor Mary Kay, Jeanne needed assistance with everything from creating a business plan, legal aspects, tax responsibilities, bookkeeping and marketing. But first she had a dilemma: which specialty to focus on - costumes or custom marine upholstery? Mary Kay listened, asked questions, and explained to Jeanne that she wouldn't have to choose, and helped create a plan to do  both.

“Mary Kay helped me not just with the information about how to register my business,” explained Jeanne.  “She helped me line by line with the applications. Due to COVID, we were virtual but that wasn't a barrier. We shared screens, and she showed, explained, and helped me answer every question to every form. That level of attention to detail is rare. If she didn't have the answers, she was timely in providing me with a list of resources and people to guide me.”

CTSBDC Advisor Mary Kay described Jeanne's "Determination, perseverance, grit, and passion for her craft are undeniable and contagious! She values each and every customer and the result is quality customer work in the maritime industry as well as those seeking to enhance their costume wardrobe. It has truly been an honor to support Jeanne through launch, and I look forward to assisting her as she grows her business."

Learn more about Waves and Wardrobes