Anthony Capellupo recalled many days staring out the window while working at a financial planning services company in Manhattan and feeling like he was trapped. After several months of reflection and planning, he left his job and started the Out There clothing company with his friend Nick Brusseler.
“The whole brand is based off of one simple premise and lifestyle,” Capellupo said. “I believe we can connect people from all different backgrounds and all different places who share one lifestyle. It’s about encouraging people to get out there, and it’s about connecting people.”
Capellupo explained that “out there” can mean a lot of things, and likened it to one’s happy place. Out There sells clothing and accessories for men and women who enjoy the outdoors, whether their go-to activity is camping, fishing or kayaking. Capellupo said that he went fishing with his father for the first time when he was 3, and fell in love with it. “I spent my whole life growing up on Long Island and near waterways, and it’s really where I call my home,” he said. “No matter how far away I am, there’s just something about the water here that once it’s in your blood, it’s very difficult to get it out of you.”
Capellupo, who turned 21 on Thursday, is a lifelong Oceanside resident. He’s an Eagle Scout, attended Oceanside School No. 8 and graduated from St. Raymond’s Elementary School, in East Rockaway, and Chaminade High School, in Mineola. He went on to Fairfield University in Connecticut, where he studies economics and will be a senior this year. At Chaminade he took finance classes and learned about the stock market. He had a knack for it, joined the investment club at Fairfield and now serves as its president.
Capellupo launched Out There last summer. He teamed up with Michael Carr, who runs LI PressWorks in Bethpage, to manufacture his apparel, and the first designs were created in January. Capellupo said he chose to design and manufacture clothes because he wanted people like him to “carry the lifestyle or a memory . . . with them,” through their clothes — whether they’re engaged in outdoor activities while wearing the line or not.
Capellupo’s mother, Deana, said she was surprised when her son told her he wanted to start a small business, but added that she supported his decision. “I think it’s a great concept,” Deana said. “I think that in the world that we live in today — that is so technologically driven — I think it tries to encourage people to be in their happy place or out there and to unplug for a while. Everyone has an ‘out there.’ Everyone has a place they need to retreat to in a stressful situation.”
Deana said her son enjoyed nature as a boy. He also had a curious and creative mind, and didn’t back down from challenges, she said.
Capellupo’s grandmother, Jeanne La Sala, said she was proud of him for launching the company, but noted that she was nervous when he began the endeavor. “As a kid, he just loved being outdoors,” La Sala said. “Water is his calming medicine. He just loves to be by the water, to be with the water, whether it’s fishing, crabbing, kayaking, that’s his peace.”
In 2018, Capellupo and Brusseler began working on the brand. Capellupo said that support from his parents and family helped him stay positive. The process started with creating a logo, Capellupo said, noting that it was not easy to do. He and Brusseler drew up about 100 potential designs, and eventually decided on a sketch of a floating sailboat. Capellupo said that Brusseler was instrumental in creating the company, noting that he was heavily involved in its infancy, but other commitments pulled him away. The two remain friends, Capellupo said.
Much like the logo, Capellupo said he is meticulous about his designs, and often goes through about 10 iterations of each item of clothing before approving it. Though he doesn’t have a background in design, he said he has enjoyed drawing since he was a child. He constantly gathers feedback from friends and family members, including longtime buddy Adam Mucci, whom he met in high school. “He kind of takes my opinion to heart,” Mucci said. “I can be a critic, but I’m one of his good friends and biggest supporters, and I really want to see him do well.”
Mucci offers insight into colors and designs from the standpoint of a customer and friend. He said he often wears Out There apparel. Mucci added that the idea of Out There is abstract, and for him, it’s about escaping the day-to-day monotony and enjoying life.
Out There’s website went live in February, and Capellupo worked closely with Brusseler and Paulina DiFatta, the brand’s marketing director. DiFatta, who focuses on the social media presence and helped design the website, called it an “amazing journey” to be with the company since the beginning and added that the highlight for her is seeing customers wearing Out There apparel on social media.
“Nothing is more rewarding than seeing a brand turn into something more than just a company,” she said. “It’s a lifestyle for many. Our customers mean so much to us, and by purchasing our apparel, they are embracing the lifestyle of exploring life to its fullest.”
Capellupo said that he was proud to use his own money to launch the brand, spending $2,500. He added that he hoped sales would continue to increase.
Many people doubted him in the beginning, he said, but he turned them into believers. “A very big thing for me is, I want to show people that it’s possible that you can have a dream and believe in your idea,” he said. “Not only have a dream, but make the dream a success. I want people to always believe in their ideas and choose the path that they want to go, even if it’s an unconventional one.”
To explore Out There apparel, visit www.outthereapparel.com.