In today’s society, more millennials (ages 18-34 in 2015 according to Pew Research) or “millennipreneurs” as called by Fortune are starting more businesses and targeting higher profits when compared to the baby boomer generation. According to The Adair Group, a popular business for millennial entrepreneurs is T-shirt selling and designing. The site further explains that millennials like to turn to apparel to showcase their personalities and humor. That premise is exactly what helped South Carolina native Ryan Blassingame of Slim Ross Apparel be so successful in his t-shirt business startup.
Blassingame started Slim Ross Apparel because of a personal need to have his shirts match his sneakers. He collected sneakers of various colors and nothing he found at retail stores complemented his sneaker collection.
“I’m a sneaker head, so I couldn’t find clothes that matched the colors of my sneakers so I found a screen printer in the mall that [printed t-shirts],” said Blassingame. “I asked if I gave them a design, would [they be able] to print it for me and they said yea. So that’s how it started with me doing one-offs for myself.”
But Blassingame did not just jump into the t-shirt business haphazardly. He studied the t-shirt business market to understand how he could sell his shirts most effectively. He defined a niche market that he was targeting with his brand (ages 17-40), he figured out how he would print the shirts, and how he would distribute them. By studying the market, Blassingame was able to launch Slim Ross Apparel and within a year have a thriving fanbase of customers. He uses social media and word of mouth to spread the word of his pop culture inspired t-shirts.
“It took me two months to break even,” said Blassingame. “After the two months, the last 22 months [have been] all profit.”
A photo posted by SLIM ROSS Apparel (@slimrossapparel) on
Blassingame’s goal for Slim Ross Apparel is to one day make it his full-time job. Even though his 9-to-5 job incorporates graphic design, Blassingame craves the flexibility of being self employed as well as wanting to leave a legacy for his offspring.
“No one can pay me what I’m worth and no matter what my salary is, you’re still putting a figure on what you think my value is to your company,” said Blassingame. “Like I no longer want to be the person who sweeps the floor, I want to be the person who hires the person to sweep the floor.”
To check out more of Slim Ross Apparel go to SlimRoss.com.