With spring break right around the corner, it’s hard not to get excited about the warmer weather and day dream about summer plans. Some people have started looking for summer employment, planning a big vacation, or checking out the summer classes offered. For UW-Stout freshman Ann Storlie and Megan Sandheinrich, spring means gearing up for their big entrepreneurial debut at the renowned summer music festival known as Vans Warped Tour.
As a way to combine their artistic abilities and savvy business sense, Ann and Megan started up a t-shirt business by designing their own product line in 2013 on Etsy.com, called Carrion Clothing.
The shirts consist of simple, playful designs and splashes of color through the tie-dye technique. They have reached new heights by selling internationally to countries like Brazil, Australia, United Kingdom, Spain, Singapore, France, Ireland, and more.
I sat down with Ann to ask her some questions about the business, how being a UW-Stout student has helped expand business, and Vans Warped Tour.
Q: How would you describe your designs?
The designs are reflections of our personalities and tastes. They’re unique and make strong statements.
Q: Has being part of the UW-Stout community helped business?
Yeah, I’d say so. There are some pretty diverse majors here. I’ve met some really creative people who always keep me thinking. There are so many people here who are supportive of what Meg and I do and so that’s a lot of fun. Oh! I almost forgot. I’ve also been able to market our merch to bands who come here on Thursday nights for concerts. I freaked out when I saw the lead singer of a band post a picture wearing one of our shirts on social media and saw how many people liked it.
Q: So what are some challenges you’ve faced moving to college and keeping up with business?
Not enough space. We used to work out of my basement. Ha! I can’t get to my clothes in my closet because there are three huge boxes in the way. Also, time. Definitely time. It take a long time to dye each shirt and occasionally, by the time I’m done with homework, I’m too tired to make the shirts.
Q: Okay so, now let’s talk about Vans Warped Tour. What are you most excited about?
Meeting and making new customers and meeting people who have sold [merchandise] on the tour before — veterans. And meeting band members, of course! Also, being part of a scene that inspired me to start the brand.
Ann and Megan will be representing UW-Stout during three dates of the tour:
- Chicago, IL- July 25th
- Shakopee, MN- July 26th
- Milwaukee, WI- July 28th
Watch for their photos on Instagram with #UWStout.