Entrepreneurship students create new T-shirt business


Submitted photo.

James King

It is a requirement for every Kent State entrepreneurship student to start their own business. Senior entrepreneurship majors Steven Hunsicker and Brandon Smith did just that: Teddy Alert LLC.

“Our original concept was a teddy bear with a built in smoke alarm,” Smith said. “That product didn’t really fit the parameters of the class, so we decided to create T-shirts instead.”

Smith and Hunsicker renamed the business “Swaggwear,” a company that now creates and sells t-shirts. They have been selling their products in the student center during the past week for twelve dollars each.

The shirts — emboldened with “Irish or not, I’m still feeling lucky” — have sold in the hundreds.

“It’s all about exposure,” Hunsicker said, “We’ve sold the shirts at the Kent State Ice Rink and at other locations. We’ve used fliers, tabling in the Student Center and Facebook to advertise.”

They will be selling the shirts in the student center this Monday and Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., for ten dollars a shirt instead of the usual twelve. The shirts will also be featured in a fashion show in the Kent State Ballroom on March 14.

“These shirts are a great deal,” said Hunsicker. “They’ve been endorsed by local business and are much cheaper than the St. Patrick’s Day shirts in the Student Center Bookstore.”

The St. Patrick’s Day shirts have been sponsored by Waterstreet Tavern, Ray’s Place, 101 Bottles, DTR Apparel, and Kent H.O.M.E. Markets. Smith and Hunsicker would also like to thank the Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization from whom they received $1,000.

“This business is more than just for students,” Smith said. “We’ve actually been selling a lot to alumni and faculty on campus.”

Smith and Hunsicker have been selling their t-shirts in the student center for the last week and have sold nearly 350, and they accept cash or credit card.

After St. Patrick’s day, Hunsicker and Smith will look into creating t-shirts for future events such as Flashfest and Drinkin’ on Lincoln.

If you would like to learn more about the business, you can like their Facebook page at facebook.com/Stpattyskent.

Contact James King at [email protected].