Rather than working for someone else, Eoghan decided to launch an online custom clothing store called Third Level Tees, where you can completely customise (including the ability to send your own graphics) and see what your order will look like at the click of a mouse.
Here's what you need to know if you'd like to do the same.
Isolate a gap in the market.
Like many of the best business ideas, Eoghan’s idea for Third Level Tees was born out of frustration at the lack of custom clothing stores available to colleges outside of Dublin:
“During my undergrad in Carlow IT, I was an active member of various clubs and societies and had a brief stint with the SU welfare team. We found on several occasions trying to get clothing printed up, we either a) had to travel to Dublin as there was no service around for that b) had problems with how the final product would look, as this was left to the printers. So I thought of a service where a club or society could design and print exactly what they wanted and see what the finished product would look like before they hit print, and then be shipped anywhere with as short a lead-time as possible.”
Remember that running your own business can be a calling, and requires time and patience to get it up and running.
“I've always found the idea of running my own business interesting but never had a clear vision of what. I like the idea of calling something my own, having full control of the outcome of the project and at my own pace. I am currently working part-time to keep myself afloat but would love to see Third Level Tees picks up and develop into a recognised brand.”
See the value in the skills you pick up in part-time work during college.
“One of the biggest challenges I've faced was the realisation that I didn’t have the full skill set to launch this myself. I find I’m learning so much about website design, marketing, brand management, stock control, customer relationships. I have dabbled in these over the years before but now that my business relies on these to succeed, they seem more important and I’m seeing the value in having these skills.”
Try to let the ageism you encounter wash over you (let’s not forget that Mark Zuckerberg was only twenty when he began coding for the site that would become Facebook.)
“Ageism has been another factor, I have approached several businesses about the project hoping to spread myself to other sectors. Most conversations included a question about my age and experience. "How could someone so young offer the level of service they claim to?". I've let these comments pass and pressed on."
Take the plunge and try it out-you’ll learn from it regardless.
“The biggest piece of advice I could give has to be about trying. If you have an idea, try it. The worst outcome is failure but the lessons learned will far out weigh the hurt ego and financial loss."
Remember that the feeling you get when it succeeds is like nothing else.
“I love the responsibility of it all, the success of the business is determined by my efforts. Selling yourself and your business as a brand and standing behind it is amazing.”
About Third Level Tees
Third Level Tees is a business aimed at students, we love to deal with societies and clubs. Students don’t have the time to be running back and forward between print shops, being unsure about the final outcome of the products and can edit their order on a whim. When ordering custom clothing from Third Level Tees, the customer can see exactly what we have in stock, print on a range of clothing and accessories, add custom names and graphics (including photos), and in one step pay for it and have it delivered anywhere.
We print on T-shirts, hoodies, hats, sports equipment, and accessories. Using our easy online builder, you can pick your clothing, choose your graphic (or send in your own), add custom text, choose your size and quantity. Once the order is put through we get to work and what you order is exactly what you get sent straight to the door. Don’t have a graphic file to send us? We can convert photos, drawings or sketches to logos for you and print them on any piece of clothing.
In that sense, Third Level Tees may just help you launch your own business.