Name: Laura Beck
Occupation: Tshirt peddler and PR gal 🙂 Founder, stripedshirt, and PR Consultant via Too Short Industries
One word to describe you: High-Energy
Hobbies: Sleeping; playing with my daughters; planning and organizing things – events, kid parties, friend get togethers, the house; talking; watching mindless sitcoms; guilty pleasures of Hollywood gossip and photos: People Magazine. Prior to children, hobbies were skiing, reading, things I sadly have no time for these days.
One thing you have learned in life: You CAN do it all, just not at the same time. Or not all at 100%. Something’s gotta give. Let it.
Website: www.stripedshirt and www.stripedshirtblog.com
Company Mission Statement: fun, fashionable fan-wear for women, kids and babies to show their colors and support their favorite team, school, cause, organization
1. Give us a little background on how you started your business and why it was started.
stripedshirt was a business dream I’d had since the early 90’s. The idea came about because I’m a sports fan, and I was complaining about options in shirts to wear to cheer on my teams. Why wasn’t there a cute red and blue stripedshirt for the Red Sox, not a man-sized jersey with a big logo on the front, and a guy’s name on the back who’ll just be traded the next season? Thus was born the idea of stripedshirt.
But it took nearly 20 years to bring it to life! After 18 years of agency PR, I had finally reached a breaking point of the 60 hour work weeks taking their toll, and me wanting to spend more time with my 2 daughters. So I cut and ran, and decided full time stay at home Mom wasn’t likely in the cards for me so timing was right to give that business dream a go!
2. Striped shirts are something different and unique. Are you looking to do other designs like chevron or will you just stick to stripes?
Strictly stripes. They are timeless. I’ve been wearing them since the 70’s! And the colors, together, can say so much. Blue and orange, you love Florida. Red and green, Christmas. Etc.
While stripedshirt will always stick to stripes, it won’t always be only shirts. I have so many striped ideas in mind and on the roadmap – all ways to “show your colors” and support whatever you care about, or just colors you like. Think dresses, beach towels, scarves, baby blankets, bikinis!
3. Can people pick their own colors or shirts or do you only sell select colors?
People have been voting for their favorite colors, requested combinations. And as votes accumulate, that’s how I choose the next combinations. Right now, we have 15 combinations that cover most. But the LSU fans will still say they need a purple AND yellow stripedshirt, not just the purple and white or yellow and white, so there are plenty of other color combinations coming in the future!
4. What color combo is the most popular?
By far and away red and white. I don’t know if that’s because it is my logo and trademark, or the people just cannot find a good red and white stripedshirt. Next closest, weirdly, are kid sized purple and white, and I’ve done my research, that’s because of the Disney cartoon Doc McStuffins. Seriously. Kids, aged 2 to 6, want to dress like Doc, and my purple and white is the best option.
5. What makes you different than other shirt companies that may be similar to yours?
Well, in fan-wear or sports wear, I’m unique in that I don’t have logos or team names, no licensing. So my colors can represent several teams. Like the blue and yellow is great for Michigan, Notre Dame and Cal.
As far as a fashion brand, and for those who just dig stripes right now, or high end, high quality shirts, I’m proud that I’m different because my quality is top notch, best runway brands, but my prices are really reasonable. I have a JCrew shirt at an Old Navy price, and I’m proud of that. There are so many Tshirt companies out there – Slendid, Chance – charging $60 a shirt. You gotta be kidding me.
6. What are your future goals for the company?
My goals have always been to have fun with stripedshirt, and make other people happy! Stripes do make you smile, and getting a shirt in the mail in cool packaging, and then putting it on and having it exceed your expectations – great fabric, flattering fit – that’s what I’m shooting for. I’d like to break even soon, and actually make a little bit of a profit, but my goal is not to have stripedshirts everywhere, to be the next Gap. I want this to be a unique, coveted brand, almost an insider club, where you see someone wearing a stripedshirt and it says something about them. My apparel role model is absolutely Vineyard Vines in their early days. You’d see someone with that pink whale logo and it meant something. I want a stripedshirt to be the same.
Buy now and see what comes after my why!