Today is the day my friend Laura Beck is celebrating three years in business with her apparel company, stripedshirt. She launched the company on Black Friday in 2010 and has been putting people in stripes ever since.
Before stripedshirt, Laura led the Austin office of Porter Novelli, a global PR firm. Her specialty was PR for tech startups and she continues to do PR consulting (she is one of the best PR people in Austin!!), which, as her husband says, "pays for her stripedshirt habit."
Laura started stripedshirt as kind of a mid life crisis, as she says. She was quitting Porter Novelli and full time PR work on the brink of her oldest daughter starting kindergarten. She was committed to making a career change up when her kids became school age so she could do the drop off, the pick up, the classroom volunteering, girl scout leading, etc. Knowing she wasn't cut out to be a Full-Time Mom, and on the brink of turning 40-years-old, she decided to give stripedshirt a go. It was a business idea she'd had since the early 90's. As a female sports fan in Boston she did not like wearing man-sized shirts to Boston College games or have some guy's name on the back of her shirt at Red Sox games.
Laura says the best part of stripedshirt is learning so many new things every day, like a second chapter in her business life. She was well versed in the details of public relations and marketing, and had worked with and supported start up clients for a long time. But this company is her own start up, and with it comes many lessons, victories, and defeats. She's also learning about the fashion and apparel industry, which she knew nothing about before launching the company. However, she finds learning something totally new to be very energizing (and if you know Laura, you know she is already high energy!!!).
What is coming in the future? Laura will continue to work to grow stripedshirt, and with the increased sales of the current 15 color combos, she will be adding colors. She also has a whole product roadmap beyond the current "Signature stripedshirts" (which are short sleeved striped shirts), including scarves which she's adding to the line now, and then long sleeved shirts and tanks. Following that will come other products that will be striped in school or team colors to let women, kids and babies support their favorite teams (think beach towels to water bottles to flash drives).
It has been fun to watch Laura grow her company. I know first hand that her shirts make a great gift, as I got one for my wife last year!
I admire Laura, and congratulate her on the 3rd anniversary of stripedshirt.
Have A Great Day