The Secret Life of Hats

By Emma Kapp

Junior Danielle Ruffolo shares her passions and talents with the UD community in two very unique ways.

The marketing and entrepreneurship major founded and operates her own business, Handy Hats. Ruffolo was inspired to create baseball hats with a built-in interior pocket after discovering a need in her own life for somewhere to carry small items safely.

“I felt like it was a hassle to find a place to put my student ID, since I always needed it on me, especially when I would go on a run,” she said. “With Handy Hats, you can conceal all of those essential items like your student ID, license, credit card or even cash.”

Since the business opened last year, Ruffolo has already seen great success. She has shipped hats to places all across the country and has filed for a patent and trademark. The Office of Admission and Financial Aid also just released a video featuring Ruffolo and Handy Hats.

“It’s been so exciting to hear all of the positive feedback from the video, especially online comments and shares,” Ruffolo said.

She hopes to eventually expand Handy Hats and partner with other college campuses or retail companies.

In addition to her business endeavors, Ruffolo pursues success in athletics as a member of the women’s soccer team. Being part of the UD athletic community has been a unifying experience for her.

“Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful people, not only on my team, but on other teams, in the administration and on the support staff,” she said. “It is an honor to represent the University of Dayton on an athletic team, and I am so lucky to be able to play a sport that I love.”

Although her majors and athletic involvement may seem unrelated, Ruffolo sees a connection between the two.

“Marketing and entrepreneurship require a lot of out-of-the-box and creative thinking, and soccer requires that kind of creativity, too,” she reasons. “In addition, my majors stress the importance of working well with a group, which is also critical to the success of our soccer team.”

With all she has going on, Ruffolo quickly learned the importance of time management and concentrating on one activity at a time.

“I try my best to work ahead in my classes in order to stay on top of my work, so that I can be completely focused on school when I’m in class or on soccer when I have training,” she said.

Ruffolo’s entrepreneurship spirit is inspiring – and her team spirit reflects that wonderful UD community attitude.


For more information about Ruffolo's business, visit http://www.myhandyhats.com/

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