A 20-year-old Highlands students has launched the college’s first line of merchandise after creating the brand as part of an entrepreneurship module.
Lauren Trachy is currently in the second year of a sports degree at Highlands College.
“I have always been into sports,” she told Express. “I play football and rugby and I really like the management side and media of sports.”
As she is not “100% sure” yet of what career she wants to pursue, Lauren is “keeping her options open”.
Last year, at the beginning of lockdown, she launched her own business, called ‘The Custom Ones’, which sells “unique, bespoke items of clothing and accessories”.
“I started with customised shoes for my brother and there were lots of people interested so I decided to make a business out of it,” Lauren said.
“It’s a lot of different things, it’s just me doing every aspect of the business, the accounting, making sure you have all the media and advertising all sorted, it’s a bit of everything.”
Pictured: Lauren created the clothing line as part of a module on entrepreneurship.
Recently, Lauren branched out into merchandise and created Highlands College’s first line of branded hoodies, polos, tee shirts, beanies and mugs, inspired by one of her modules on entrepreneurship.
As part of the module, Lauren and other students had to come up with an idea, evaluate how much it would cost and present it to their tutors. While it was not required to turn the idea into a physical product, Lauren decided to.
“I had gone through the process so I thought, I might as well,” she said.
“When you go to university in the UK, lots of people like to buy a hoodie. At Highlands, we are not as big as universities in the UK, I thought this would make it stand out more and help make it a part of the community.”
Pictured: “When you go to university in the UK, lots of people like to buy a hoodie."
Having studied Art and Design at Highlands before her sports degree, Lauren’s latest endeavour combines her different interests and even received the support of the staff at Highlands.
Lauren met Rob Moy, Deputy Principal of Business Services, as well as the marketing team who helped her work on the logos and decide on a batch of colours so that the merchandise would look uniform.
She also received support from the Highlands Foundation, which was established in 2019 to assist students on the full range of vocational, commercial and higher education courses.
“They decided to use the money to invest in a bulk order so that I could use a range of items of the merchandise to display,” Lauren explained.
Pictured: The Highlands Foundation supported Lauren by funding the purchase of items for display.
Mr Moy, who promised he would be buying one of the hoodies and polos, said the foundation “really supported Lauren’s idea”.
“We were happy to support one of the students to enhance her course and entrepreneurship,” he said. “We thought it was a great idea from the outset and gave support with the business side and the branding. It’s a great initiative and we will continue to support it going forward.”
While the line was only launched last week, Lauren has already received a few orders and she might be considering adding new items to the line in the future.
“I am just going to see how the initial one goes down.”
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