All throughout Mercyhurst history, Lak-er alums of past and present have emerged from the gates upon graduation with the same entrepreneurial spirit as the founding Sisters of Mercy. With their Mercyhurst education in hand, alumni can confidently go out into the world ready to face the challenges of owning and running their own business in the modern day. However, not all Lakers wait till graduation to start up their own business; some start theirs while within the gates after finding their passion and others even begin their small business before even entering.
Sophomore Marketing major, Ethan Chadbourne, is one example of a current student who began his business before entering Mercyhurst’s campus. Chad-tees Inc. was started by Chadbourne in his junior year of high school. A clothing brand established in 2019 just outside of Rochester, New York, Chadbourne likes to call his Chad-tees Inc. ‘Creative apparel for the creative mind.’ “I’ve learned a lot at Mercyhurst that has helped me with the business in terms of planning, organizing and budgeting,” said Chadbourne. The general purpose of creating Chad-tees Inc. was to provide a creative clothing option for a small price. “I loved drawing on my computer and decided that it would be a great experience to start a business and develop an understanding of basic things like supply and demand, customer service, consumer behavior and aesthetics,” said Chadbourne.
His graphic t-shirts are designed and sold in a limited release format. For example, this current year, Chadbourne schedule five releases for the year and has already completed four of the five releases. The one remaining release is set to be available later in the year. From “Achieve Grapeness,” to “Sum-mer Bus Tee,” Chadbourne has also collab-orated with other similar brands with the same goal and focus.“I have always loved the ability to express oneself through the colors and messages on their shirts and I wanted to contribute to that side of it [business] as well,” said Chadbourne.
With a variety of shirts in both short and long-sleeves, one is bound to find something that fits their style with Chad-tees Inc. A variety of stickers that go with these limited-edition releases are available as well. “I’ve also really enjoyed getting feedback from my peers and observing what they wear and what they find trendy and fash-ionable,” said Chadbourne. One can visit www.chadteesinc.com online as well as on Instagram at @chad-teesinc. Chad-tees Inc. accepts payment in the form of PayPal, Venmo and cash with the current price for the most recently re-leased shirts being priced at $22.
To the other Lakers who may be questioning whether to start their own small business or not, Chadbourne noted that it is very important to follow your passions and express yourself no matter how unique. “That is what makes it fun and what makes it YOUR passion,” said Chadbourne.
Laker Side Hustle is a new feature in the Merciad in which students who have a small business can have it featured on a university-wide platform. The Mercyhurst community can learn more about what students are up to and how they can support small businesses. If you have a small business or know a friend who has one and want to have it featured in the newspaper, email firstname.lastname@example.org or message @merciadmu on Instagram to have your business featured. Alternatively, one can also email the current Features section editor, Victoria McGinty, at email@example.com to be featured.