If you think you have to pursue only one of your dreams at a time, you are wrong. Students David Connell, 21, and John Egli, 21, are in their junior year at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and are pursuing two different interests at once: scholarship and personal enterprise. They met each other on their first day at college at UW-Stout and are pursuing different majors. Connell has a major in property management and Egli is a supply chain management major. “Our majors really have nothing to do with clothing or retail or anything,” said Connell.
Connell and Egli created a clothing company known as “Kool Kidz Don’t Have the Time,” however it is also referred to in a shorter form as “Kool Kidz Clothing.” The company is a limited liability corporation, which started in February 2011 with just an idea that came to mind by Connell and Egli.
“A lot of people think are name came from the group ‘Smashing Pumpkins’ from the 70s, but that’s not true; we had no idea who those people were, we were just sitting around in our dorm one day when the name popped into our head,” said Connell.
After they established the name of the company, Connell and Egli ordered about 200 hundred shirts and discovered that they were selling fast within the first week of being on the market. “We decided to promote it hard on Facebook and gained a little over 6,000 fans within a year; I think it’s important that people take the time to like the page,” said Connell.
Currently, Kool Kidz Clothing does not have a store location and sells their shirts primarily online. “Something we are looking forward to doing is getting our clothing into stores locally,” said Connel. Since the Kool Kidz Clothing business began, Connell and Egli have added two additional people; Jamie Berger, who helps with marketing and taking orders and Jeremy Cooper, a multimedia design student at UW-Stout who works on the clothing designs. “We all have our input, but he’s [Cooper] the one going to school for graphic design so he helps make it happen,” said Connell.
“Our style kind of reflects a lot of people we sponsor: skateboarders, snowboarders, people in bands. It’s just a fun style,” said Connell. Although Kool Kidz Clothing’s online presence is effective, it does present struggles. “We have a lot of fans over-seas, especially in Asia, so sometimes it gets difficult to ship an order to someone so far away with the prices of shipping,” said Connell.
Currently, Kool Kidz Clothing has five different designs available, priced at 12 dollars with shipping, online. However, if they sell their clothing at a performance they are sponsoring, then the clothing sells for ten dollars. In the next few weeks, Kool Kidz Clothing is planning to release five new designs and is also working to find a way to gear their clothing to both guys and girls. “Our website makes it look like it is only geared towards guys, but we are kind of at that state where we are trying to come out with a lot of new stuff,” said Connell.
In five years, Connell wishes to see the clothing line in clothing stores. “Life takes you in many directions, and just because we are majoring in one thing doesn’t mean we can’t grow with something else too,” Said Connell.
“It has been a really rewarding experience; I mean when you see someone wearing your clothes, that you don’t know and they don’t know who you are, but you know they’re wearing your clothes, and it’s the best thing ever,” said Connell. “The advice I would give to someone trying to start their own clothing business would be to create something that you like and create it with people you like. If you do both of those things, other people will most likely enjoy your products and you will have fun in the process.”
To learn more about Kool Kidz Clothing check out their Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/koolkidzneverhavethetime