2019 Community Change makers
Born and reared in New Jersey, Gina Curko is a woman who from the time she was 5 years old knew what she wanted to do. Summarizing her childhood, it was best said by a recent Industry Magazine article: “Elementary school kids often daydream about their future careers. Some imagine lives as famous athletes or actors, others as doctors or detectives.” But for Gina Curko, the founder and CEO of SeeSaw, with stores in Tenafly and Fort Lee, her vocational course was clear before she was even old enough to hold a pen; she would pursue a career in fashion. By the time she was five, the future stylist was spending hours in her grandmother’s closet, mesmerized by the fabrics and prints hanging around her. ‘I used to play in that closet, and I would be in there for hours, just dreaming,’ she reminisced. ‘My grandmother inspired me to have incredible style. She was also a very capable businesswoman. She was my icon. I wanted to emulate everything she did.’”
Inspired by her fashionista grandmother and with her own innate sense of style, Gina solidified her goal of entering the fashion field when she attended Wood Tobe-Coburn College in New York focusing on fashion design. Gina has since become a seasoned industry vet, working initially in wholesale at Bloomingdales and then spending 10 years at Neiman Marcus managing a $66 million business and 400 employees before she felt prepared to start her own business.
Ultimately, Gina opened SeeSaw in Tenafly, which carried unique clothing and accessories from around the world. As an entrepreneur, her goal was to offer her clients a different experience than they would have shopping at the mall. She did not want to own a “cookie-cutter” shop. Gina wanted to curate remarkable products from all over the world and make women feel really amazing about themselves.
Distinguishing her from other retailers is Gina’s commitment to get to know her clients – She strives for excellence, and when customers walk into one of her stores, they feel like they are in a candy store, with so much to choose from. She also offers personal styling and has been known to make home visits to help women clean and organize their wardrobes. Gina knows the importance of women making their place in the world and how often their successes are tied to self-esteem, and how often that is tied to feeling good in their style. One only needs to read comments of her customers to see the impact she has on women’s lives, “…When I’m dressed in my SeeSaw, my confidence is always up a notch! Gina doesn’t sell you anything unless it looks FABULOUS on you, and you can take that to the bank!” And another: “See it, saw it, got it! Gina has changed the way I dress and how I see myself. I am blessed. And so is anyone who Gina dresses.”
So many of Gina’s clients have become her friends and over the years her involvement in philanthropy has grown. She backs all the local schools with gift certificates and outfits students for local fashion shows. Gina supports many other organizations that her clients are involved in, including Women’s Rights Information Center. You can always count on SeeSaw to support an event.
As with most transformational success stories, Gina’s road has sometimes been daunting. Gina is a believer in the concept of it takes a village! Her inspirational grandmother and her mother helped her with her two daughters, Paydin, age 16 and Harlowe Jean, age 12. Gina, as a mother, daughter, granddaughter, proprietor and entrepreneur serves as a role model for all women seeking to claim economic independence!
For more information visit www.seesawboutique.com or visit one of two SeeSaw sites at 6 W. Railroad Ave. Tenafly, or 2027 Hudson St. Fort Lee.