Student starts clothing brand for college students
Official College Life started as a way for TJ Smith to post videos, transformed into clothing compan
Published: Friday, March 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 8, 2013 09:03
Official College Life is a brand nationally marketed toward college students. It is available in nation-wide through an internet shop and is sold in stores.
The brand started as a way to get college students to promote their universities and show how “college life” is a lifestyle that any student can relate to.
Because a college student founded it.
Anthony “TJ” Smith (junior, communications media) is the founder of Official College Life and a part-time video director. He has worked with rappers including Webbie, Redi Roc and Joey Jihad.
Although school and directing keep him busy, Smith has found the time to create a brand and business.
The Official College Life line started as RepMySchool in 2011.
“At first it was just a place to post our videos,” Smith said, “but then we started to see that there were opportunities to do more with the brand.”
RepMySchool has promoted and attended parties at different universities, made videos of the parties and posted them online as a chance for each school to show off their social scene.
Official College Life continues this now by hosting parties and events as a way to help finance their clothing line that consists of T-shirts, crew neck sweaters, hooded sweatshirts and shorts.
The apparel comes in various styles, usually dictated by gender and a university’s colors.
“Everything we do is for a college audience,” Smith said. “We have something for everyone.”
The apparel was first sold out of Smith’s home with the help and promotion from his friends. Now, with the launch of a blog and social networks, Official College Life promotion has grown.
Merchandise can be bought in the Co-Op Store at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and at the Pittsburgh Sports Connection store in the Indiana Mall.
The apparel can also be purchased on their website, www.officialcollegelife.com.
Smith hopes to expand the business and sell apparel in other university stores, starting in Pennsylvania and then in other states.
Smith said they plan to doing this by “spreading and developing the brand more. We still have a ways to go before we’re ready as a company to expand on a large scale.”
The website also works as an entertainment blog where readers can find the latest on music, sports, fashion and news. The social network managers, Marius Nsengimana and Micah Sellers (senior, criminology), along with blog writers, maintain the blog and the Official College Life social networks.
With all of this promotion and nearly 24,000 Twitter followers, Smith and his Official College Life team expect the next chapter of their brand to kick off soon.
“Hopefully in two years,” Smith said, “we can see Official College Life apparel everywhere.”