Genevieve Gralton '09

Genevieve Gralton '09


Describe your path since graduating from Portsmouth Abbey School.

After graduating from the Abbey, I went on to pursue my undergraduate studies at the University of St Andrews in Scotland where I double majored in psychology and art history. Outside of classes, I enjoyed volunteering with DONT WALK, one of the largest charity fashion shows in the UK, as well as traveling. Over the summers, I interned in New York City at Psychology Today and on the south coast of Massachusetts at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Following my graduation from St Andrews, I moved to New York City and worked in market research and consumer insights at Time Inc. I loved working with iconic media brands like Time, Food & Wine, and People. At Time Inc., I discovered my passion for branding. From there, I moved to Merrill Lynch and worked on a team that was responsible for overseeing Merrill Lynch’s brand development and corresponding digital ad campaigns. During my time at Merrill Lynch, the idea for my current company, Underbares, was born. However, prior to being able to launch Underbares, I knew I needed more experience working on a small team, so I moved to Washington, D.C., to work for a growing restaurant group as their brand manager. I enjoyed working on a small team and wearing many different hats, but after a year on the job, my interest in launching Underbares became reality.

Underbares was born out of the idea that women have the right to feel comfortable in their undergarments (revolutionary, right?!), and that the undergarment industry is a landscape of extremes. Following a year of working full time in my role as a brand manager while balancing product development for Underbares, I launched Underbares this past March on International Women’s Day (March 8). Since the launch, the most exciting aspect of the business has been receiving feedback from customers. It has also been thrilling to receive positive press and reviews in Washingtonian, Real Simple, and Vogue.

How did your experience at Portsmouth Abbey School help you become the person & professional you are today?

My experience at Portsmouth Abbey was instrumental in shaping who I am today. The rigorous academics prepared me for a very different academic system in the UK. Outside of studies, my passion for running was born at the Abbey (however, my "runs" are more like leisurely jogs, not the hill sprints in the rain, next to the bay that Mr. McDonough would have us endure). Most importantly, at Portsmouth Abbey, I learned a strong sense of self and the value of true friendship.

What is a piece of advice you'd give to current Portsmouth Abbey students?

Life at Portsmouth Abbey can feel demanding between academics, sports, extracurricular activities, and trying to squeeze in some downtime. Try to enjoy each moment with friends and faculty and always be yourself.