Kent State student channels inner creativity during quarantine

Emily Schultz, a junior visual communication design student. 

Andre Claudio Reporter

As tie-dye becomes increasingly popular among the younger generations, one Kent State student decided to get ahead of the trend and create her own line of tie-dye clothing.

Rising junior visual communication design student Emily Schultz created an Etsy shop in the middle of April to sell some of her home-made tie-dye clothing.

Schultz said the inspiration behind creating her own Etsy tie-dye shop came from a childhood memory she shared with her cousin.

Since she was five years old, her cousin would babysit her and made it a tradition to tie-dye with her at least once a year.

“Every year in the summer we would tie-dye together, and it was so much fun for me,” Schultz said. “Once I saw it started to become a trend, I thought it’d be a great idea to try it on my own.”

When Schultz first pondered on the idea of selling her work, she was hesitant because she wasn’t sure if the general public would be interested. 

“I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for me, but I was very nervous to create my shop because of financial reasons and the thought of people not buying my work,” Schultz said. “I wanted to make sure I wasn’t wasting my money, but then my boyfriend pushed me to do it.”

After being inspired by her boyfriend, Schultz decided to do a trial run on Etsy, which consisted of six different sets. The sets consisted of a crew neck and shorts, tank top and shorts as well as a crew neck and joggers.

Schultz said her initial thought was if all the products sold out, then she would know people were interested and continue to create products. 

One week after her site went public April 21, her products completely sold out. 

“Right after I started getting more and more orders,” Schultz said. “I was really surprised because I didn’t think this was going to happen.”

With an increase in curiosity for tie-dye, Schultz said she has started to see a rise in her sales.

Most of her clients consist of college students or younger people who are generally curious about the tie-dye trend.

“I think a lot of people, especially college students, want to follow a trend and be hip to what’s going on,” Schultz said. 

As interest in her brand grows, Schultz said she is constantly looking at what her customers like the most. 

The product Schultz has seen the most interest in is her crew neck and shorts set which comes in a plethora of different colors including Cotton Candy, Orange Sherbet, Blue Cosmo, Wild Berry, Blueberry Crisp, Salted Caramel and Lemon Custard.

Shultz has also recently released a crew neck and jogger set which is now available on her Etsy shop. 

“I’m constantly looking at what my buyers love the most because it can often influence what I do next,” Schultz said.

Currently, Schultz said she is working with a product called Cricket, to create tie-dye apparel for sororities.

Being a member of Delta Zeta, it’s fun and important for Schultz to do. With the Cricket, Schultz will be able to use Delta Zeta related stencils to create unique pieces.

“I thought it’d be really cool to come out with a summer package,” Schultz said. “I plan on creating different designs to use for my sorority apparel.”

As the tie-dye trend continues to grow, it has become challenging for tie-dye business owners to purchase the necessary materials to create the product.

Cassie, an Elyria, Ohio Jo-Ann Fabric employee, said it has been weeks since they’ve had any tie-dye materials in stock.

“We’ve been selling our tie-dye kits very quickly, so it’s rare that we have any in stock,” Cassie said. “The only thing remotely close to a tie-dye kit that we have is a color bomb kit used for color run marathons.”

With big corporations being sold out of necessary materials, it has become blatantly obvious that shopping with local brands is the way to go.

All of Schultz items are handmade in her garage and specially prepared for each of her customers.

Schultz is currently taking orders through her Etsy shop, but if you live in the greater Cleveland area, she is willing to deliver or meet up to drop off the package. Schultz also has an Instagram account for her brand which showcases a lot of the products offered.

Schultz has recently teamed up with freelance photographer, Mara Friedman to produce professional photos of the products.

“I enjoy what I do and love the engagement that I’ve been receiving from my customers,” Schultz said.

Andre Claudio covers fashion. Contact him at [email protected].