women-owned-mass.-business-featured-on-‘oprah’s-favorite-things’-2-years-in-a-row

Women-Owned Mass. Business Featured On ‘Oprah’s Favorite Things’ 2 Years In A Row

A women-owned business based in Massachusetts that crafts stylish and affordable accessories has been named to Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Things” list for two consecutive years.

“Nothing shows the excitement better than her reaction to herself.”

Karena Rasser said the feeling of Top It Off’s gloves being featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things 2023 is like the gif of Oprah wearing a red dress while screaming and throwing her hands in the air.

“That’s sort of the reaction that we all had and still feel,” the co-founder of the West Roxbury company told MassLive earlier this month. “It is pretty remarkable to be a part of such an amazing group of companies and people that really see the value and the benefit of Top It Off accessories.”

The Sherry Plaid Gloves from the women-owned small business made the list, which features gifts from many women-owned, Black-owned and other minority-owned small businesses from around the country.

The stylish gloves can be used on electronic devices, so people are not forced to freeze their fingers off when using their phone.

“Featuring a plaid design with a woolen look and a vegan, micro-suede palm, these cotton poly gloves are the perfect blend of style and comfort to warm you through those long, chilly, winter days,” the gloves’ description on Amazon reads.

Top It Off Sherry Gloves in in pink (left) and orange (right).Contributed photo

Top It Off started producing gloves roughly five years ago, and the company has now been featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things two years in a row.

Elizabeth Hoenscheid, who considers the list “the top list you’d want to be on,” said she and Rasser were more than excited that the Sherry Gloves followed the success of their Dawn Gloves from last year.

“It’s been really fun to really be prepared with inventory and really be able to get lots of gloves out literally in people’s hands,” Hoenscheid said. “They’re very stylish. They’re something you need and they make you feel good when you wear them.”

“I love seeing someone walk down the street and I go, ‘Oh, I know that’s our gloves,’ I mean, that’s a pretty fun feeling to have,” Rasser added. “It’s very natural for us to design things that people like that are affordable, that are a moderate price point that every woman can enjoy.”

Hoenscheid and Rasser founded Top It Off 20 years ago. Both New York natives, the duo met while working in Boston and quickly realized that they each wanted to start their own businesses that focused on helping women feel empowered through fashion.

Their company, which was originally called Martinis and More, started off by designing items like ribbon belts and painted picture frames. After some time, the women realized they needed a different name for their business — “to have something other than the word martinis in it,” Rasser said — thus giving birth to the name Top It Off.

“Ever since then, Elizabeth and I have been growing the business and still designing things, but not making them ourselves like we used to,” Rasser said. “We manufacture in various countries around the world.”

Top It Off is based in West Roxbury but does not have a store there. They do, however, have a corporate show room and offices.

The company designs all their accessories that are then sent to over 2,000 boutiques and gift shops around the country as well as the Caribbean and Canada. As creative people, Rasser said she and Hoenscheid are always looking to design something new and meet their customers’ needs.

“Top It Off has something new every year and literally every six months we design a collection. It is not stale by any means,” Rasser said. “So, creating something different every season is really what we’re good at.”

“We’re always listening to what our customers want and we know that they want,” Hoenscheid added. “We’re always looking for new opportunities.”

Top It Off Sherry Gloves in brown (left) and black (right).Contributed photo

Essentially, there is never a dull moment at Top It Off, and that sense of revitalization has been something both women have embraced, especially as female entrepreneurs. Hoenscheid said having that “get it done” attitude has helped both women move mountains.

“We always put goals ahead of ourselves for every year, and we work really, really hard to achieve those,” she said. “I think that’s really the key to our success is that ability to listen to our customers and to adapt and just do whatever it takes to get it done.”

Rasser added that building a company truly comes from one’s relationship with their business partner, regardless of their gender.

“You have to be partnered with someone that is the right fit for you, man or a woman. It just happens to be Elizabeth is a woman. It just happens to be that I’m a woman and we work incredibly well together,” she said.

“We bring people in on our team that have the qualities that we want, and we need. I think it’s great. I mean, I would not change anything for the world,” Rasser said.

People can browse Top It Off’s products by visiting the company’s website. Those looking to support the small businesses featured in this year’s list, can browse curated items in Oprah’s Favorite Thing’s Amazon store.

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