Cardillo expands his company, takes startup to the next level


Submitted Ethan Cardillo

Cardillo and his friends during a shoot for his company.

Ava Aymie, A&E Editor

Not many high school students can say they own their own company, but senior Ethan Cardillo can. Through late nights and working solo, Cardillo has elevated his company, Take Note, throughout his time in high school. 

In 2017, Cardillo founded Take Note, a skate-inspired apparel brand. He sells not only to Algonquin students but to customers outside of the school as well. He has sold to states such as New York and California and has even received purchases in countries like the UK, Australia, and Germany. The company has been able to grow from his website launch and reach a wider variety of customers.

“We are in stores now,” Cardillo said. “They are all small boutiques, no chain stores, but there’s one in Philadelphia and a skate shop in Worcester, so getting to physical places is really cool.”

Cardillo has made changes in the way he produces his product since he started the company his freshman year.

“I started out with a local place, but now I get my stuff printed in New York City, and I get stuff manufactured in China for custom items like flannels and socks,” Cardillo said. 

Bringing awareness to certain programs has inspired Cardillo’s clothing lines in the past. Having his voice heard through a creative outlet is a big reason for creating his brand. 

“I like having a voice,” Cardillo said. “I think a lot of kids my age don’t have an opportunity to speak as I do. I’ve had the opportunity to speak on climate change and breast cancer by making certain items that are donated to charity.”

Through his sales, he has been able to donate thousands of dollars to causes he believes in.

Hoping to go to Mass Art college to study fashion design, graphic design, or animation, Cardillo plans to continue his company in his future.

“My original plan was not to, but seeing the way it’s growing and how much I enjoy it, I am going to continue it and hopefully open my own store,” Cardillo said. “That’s the goal.”

Despite his hiatus in fall of 2019 due to manufacturing issues and simply not being ready, Cardillo is creating more products that are hopefully coming out this spring.

“I took all the stock I had from [fall], put it away, and now we are putting out for spring,” Cardillo said. “I created a lot of new stuff too, about 12 items.”

Originally, Cardillo’s biggest struggles were finding ways to support his company financially, but now he has become self-sufficient. As his company grows, his struggles with the brand become more personal.

“A more subjective struggle to me is being afraid that people won’t like certain things,” Cardillo said. “Putting yourself out there to your peers in a very broad way like this is kinda scary.”

Alongside internal struggles, Cardillo faces issues with time management and communication with manufacturers from China.

While Cardillo grows his company, he encourages his peers to use their voices when they can and express themselves creatively like himself.

“Putting yourself out there is really important for anything,” Cardillo said. “I think people need to put themselves out there more often because art is the best thing in the world and without it, there is no expression.”