Lindsay Koenig delicately placed iron-on butterflies onto a pastel pink sweatshirt a customer had ordered and talked about her newfound clothing business.
The second-year marketing student got the idea to make and sell game-day clothing for students when she couldn’t find a cute option for herself that cost less than $50.
“I went to Walmart and found a sweatshirt and was like, ‘you know what? I’m gonna paint this. I’m gonna spend as little amount of money as possible and still be warm and cute,’ and I did it because everything else was just too expensive,” Koenig said.
So, that’s exactly what she did for herself. Then she started doing it for others.
She has now expanded to Instagram and sells anything from sunglasses to cropped sweatshirts to stickers and customizes all of the orders.
“Instagram is hard at first because you end up trying to make a name for yourself, and people have no idea who you are and why you’re following them, but I’ve had super supportive friends. They literally give me so much support, and they help get other people to see my account, and it’s because of word of mouth and Instagram that I’ve been able to sell all my stuff,” Koenig said.
Koenig said her favorite moments are when customers see the finished project for the first time, and she sees the pure joy and excitement on their faces.
“I love it when people are just over the moon and super ecstatic about receiving it,” Koenig said.
Lindsay prides herself on making customers happy and creating designs that are unique as well as affordable for college students. Emma Boyajieff, a third-year student and a customer of Koenig’s, has noticed this attitude.
“The work Lindsay puts into making every design is what sets her apart. I got a sweatshirt for my sister as a gift, and Lindsay didn’t have any designs with my sister’s sorority letters. She spent hours making multiple designs for me to choose from and even made them individually for my sister based on things she liked. You can’t get that from any other business,” Boyajieff said.
She gets her inspiration from Pinterest and other design sites such as RedBubble, then runs with the ideas. All of the creations are unique. They include the game-day themes that prompted the whole enterprise as well as customized sorority designs and more.
Her favorite piece is a take on the Patagonia logo.
“I worked so hard to redo it so I wouldn’t get copywrite by Patagonia,” Koenig said. “It took me at least two weeks to come up with it and come up with all the colors.”
Boyajieff said it’s the originality of and creativity behind Koenig’s designs that appeal to her.
“Everything she makes is very original and doesn’t look like anything you can buy at a big store.”
Lauren Bayes, a second-year student and another one of Koenig’s customers, agrees.
“I’ve seen a lot of personalized clothing, but her designs are modern and bright … plus Lindsay is really sweet, and she designs your piece quickly,” Bayes said.
She learned the importance of being attentive to customers through her marketing experience both inside and outside the classroom. She said she goes above and beyond to meet customers’ needs and provide them with quality materials so what you buy lasts.
“It’s just about listening to your customers and seeing what they want,” Koenig said.
Her business has grown beyond the USC campus. She’s had customers from Ohio State University wanting sweatshirts featuring a glittery “O” or a buckeye, the mascot.
She hopes to expand to men’s clothing as well.
“I want to get connected with one of my friends at UNCW because I know their fraternity,” Koenig said.
While she will continue to market her goods via Instagram, she’s working to build a website to sell her products and hopes to have that up and running in the fall.