Watkinson is extremely proud of its alumni and how they are shaping their lives and the world around them. Starting today, we introduce the everBLUE Spotlight.
Meet Ettienne Percy '08
A prodigious athlete during his Watkinson tenure, Ettienne has taken the lessons he learned both in and out of the classroom at Watkinson and applied them to the competitive fashion industry. A three-sport varsity athlete (soccer, basketball and lacrosse) at Watkinson, he was the 2008 recipient of the David Newhall Memorial Athletic Award, typically given to the student who embodies what the best male athlete in the school should be, both on and off the field/court. After high school, Ettienne graduated from UCONN with a BA in English. However, it was several of his high school experiences that directed him to his current career path, that being e-commerce merchandising for Rowing Blazers and developing his own up-cycling clothing line called 90Something Magnolia.

While he was juggling academics and athletics at Watkinson, Ettienne recalls one of his first jobs working at American Eagle. He says, “Big shoutout to the West Farms Mall! Those very experiences are what propelled me. I am talking about the early ones before I realized that my love of clothes was something they called ‘fashion’ and my knack for buying/selling things was called "merchandising." Or that helping create a yearbook was ‘graphic design.’ I didn't realize people had jobs related to those areas or that people even went to school to become experts in those activities. At that time, I could not articulate my passions for worlds that I didn't know existed, but I was always curious and excited to learn.” 

After college, Ettienne stumbled into a customer support role at a small e-commerce company in the days before most people had heard of the term e-commerce. “In that role, I helped customers, which was similar to greeting folks at American Eagle, and took it upon myself to learn the business side of things as well. The rest is history.”
As a student-athlete, Ettienne learned how to successfully juggle multiple tasks which is imperative as he manages his full-time gig as a merchandiser while also pursuing his own clothing line. “I work really hard and I don't sleep as much as I should. And I love coffee. Also, in my mind, 90Something Magnolia functions much more as a passion project than as a business or clothing line. As such, I work on it when I want to and have time. Nights and weekends are crucial.” He adds that the skills and habits he learned at Watkinson are a big part of his success, including, “open-mindedness, empathy, being a cultural translator, being a competitor, succeeding as an underdog, and my love of storytelling.”
Like all of us, Ettienne is looking for a future full of health, happiness, and prosperity. “I'm a sponge, so learning and being better than the previous day is how I measure success in my life. Over many years I've worked really hard through a lot of turbulence, and I am still here. I love designing clothes with my brother. I love stacking wood at my Mom's house when she needs help. I love chasing my niece around the house and celebrating the small stuff with my loved ones. Every day. And I love developing my career, 90Something Magnolia included. I hope to take my business acumen to a place unseen by those before me and I hope that 90Something inspires other young people to create and build their own launch pads in whatever way makes them most inspired.”
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