Entrepreneurs gain business experience designing for Mason clientele

Lauren Serge | Staff Writer

Sometimes, the most successful fashion entrepreneurs are the ones sitting next to you in class.

Throughout Mason High School, a diverse group of students have pursued their interest in clothing design to form personal businesses.

Junior Tabitha Parks combines her love for music and eye for design to create her own band shirts as well as patches for social causes she supports. Parks said she uses a machine called a plotter to form her designs.

“I’ll design the image on my computer and put it into my plotter machine,” Parks said. “It cuts it out of the vinyl and then it gets ironed on whatever type of fabric I want it to be on.”

Parks said when she she seeks more than just a profit.

“Shirts I sell for $10, and that’s something that’s important to me specifically,” Parks said. “Buying band shirts is really expensive, so I believe in low price stuff.”

Junior Sidney Bohanon deepened her interest in fashion design after attending the Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning camp. Bohanon received exposure to the career, while getting insight from professionals. This insight helped to advertise her business.

“I had the chance to meet so many designers and have somebody to work alongside with,” Bohanon said. “I got the promotion from them and through all of their websites and collaborations.”

Bohanon said her fashion embodies a streetwear style, with products like culottes, baggy pants, and shirts with customized drawings and paintings. Her shirts are typically $50 since she is not a formal business.

Bohanon took the Fashion Design and Construction class to improve her drawing skills, allowing her to broaden the options available to her customers.

“I try to stick to a conceptual design or things that are intriguing,” Bohanon said. “It’s more for people to easily ask me and I’m typically willing to make it if I’m capable of doing it.”

Senior Joey Wood created clothing designs before, but in July, he came up with the idea for a crew neck sweatshirt with a local style catered to MHS students. While he has experience with various art subjects, this sweatshirt was the first item he had professionally made.

“I like dabbling in a bunch of different art forms–like painting, drawing, digital art, graphic design–and I made these shirts just to try something new,” Wood said.

The images included in his design were uploaded online for the front of the sweatshirt. Wood used the popular crew neck style and focused on an indie look that targeted a  high school consumer. Wood sold the sweatshirts for $36 and received a successful following.

“It’s really satisfying seeing other people wear your stuff,” Wood said. “It’s great motivation to keep making more.”

The prosperity of this project encouraged him to consider future projects and motivated him to seek out similar studies for college.

“I hopefully will get into DAAP at UC, but there’s not a lot of pressure,” Wood said. “The field of graphic design just really interests me.”

For senior Hanna Collins, the interest in creating clothing stemmed from her passions for costume design at a young age. Collins began making her own costumes for Halloween several years ago, and now she makes them for her friends and fellow theatre members.

“Usually, I make costumes for the Halloween season and theatre, but I also like to take old clothes and upcycle them,” Collins said. “I use a combination of old and new materials and I keep a running collection of fabric. I even use cardboard as an armour for costumes.”

The creativity Collins possesses in her personal projects is influenced by her future aspirations.  Collins said she wants to major in costume design for theatre and that this way, her interest can reach a greater audience.

Although her passon is strong, Collins said she is not looking to gain a profit from it. Rather, she wants to expand her fondness of her creations to those close around her. Collins said she is content with her current clientele; however, she posts some of her items on social media, but she has not found a specific base for her fashion line.

“I don’t really sell my stuff,” Collins said, “I just want to try to get it out there and get people interested.”