Not many college students can say they’ve launched a digital non-profit clothes model of their first 12 months of school. Tia Oliver and Kelly Snyder are doing simply that with the Love At all times Challenge.
These neighbors-turned-best pals initially started the Love At all times Challenge as an initiative to assist folks in want. This small venture has since snowballed right into a profitable “thrift-flipped” clothes enterprise the place 90% of the income are donated to organizations like Feeding America, The Nationwide Alliance to Finish Homelessness, and Black Lives Matter.
Rising up in State Faculty, Oliver and Snyder had been no stranger to the hustle and bustle of scholar life. After rising up collectively, the 2 women determined to half methods for faculty; Oliver headed off to the College of Massachusetts Amherst and Snyder determined keep near residence and attend Penn State.
Once they each went off to varsity, they knew that freshman 12 months was sure to be stuffed with thrilling, but complicated experiences. It was throughout these first few months of school that the Love At all times Challenge started.
“I began taking photos of scholars round campus and asking them about their experiences with love, what it meant to them, and the way they share it with others,” Oliver stated. “I interviewed round 20 folks from each UMass and Penn State and shared the photographs and tales on our Instagram.”
After their Instagram account began to achieve followers, Oliver and Snyder developed shirts, sweatshirts, and stickers with their brand to boost cash for The Nationwide Alliance to Finish Homelessness.
When the pandemic hit and stay-at-home orders had been established, they determined to rebrand the Love At all times Challenge right into a sustainable clothes model aimed to unfold love and positivity by means of easy and stylish designs.
All the course of begins with Oliver and Snyder accumulating clothes objects from native thrift shops or donations from their family and friends. The ladies then select between 5 and 6 objects to revamp. They brainstorm concepts to embroider on every clothes merchandise primarily based on well timed messages they determine with and what they suppose their viewers would put on.
“We use numerous feminine empowerment mantras like ‘Lady Energy,’” Oliver stated. “In our final drop, we painted a shirt with the phrases ‘I’m Talking,’ which was a reference to Senator Kamala Harris within the vice presidential debate.”
Within the week earlier than a brand new assortment is launched on Instagram, Oliver and Snyder spend about 10 hours revamping the clothes. Snyder sews and embroiders, whereas Oliver paints.
After the launch, the women spend their days speaking with consumers, coping with funds, and transport the merchandise. Throughout this time, additionally they handle their social media presence and preserve monitor of any concepts that pop up for future collections.
“We attempt to be life like concerning the quantity of effort and time we put into the venture,” stated Oliver. “Some months we will do two or extra drops, however we will’t all the time make that occur. We would like the Love At all times Challenge to be a constructive a part of our lives, so we do our greatest to maintain a comparatively low time dedication whereas nonetheless producing content material we really feel happy with.”
Regardless of all of their arduous work, Oliver and Snyder don’t personally preserve any of the cash they earn. The ladies donate 90% of the income to numerous organizations and make investments the opposite 10% again into the venture.
“We don’t have any monetary incentive to do that, so our store is only primarily based on wanting to assist folks and unfold positivity,” stated Oliver. “We wish to promote a duty to offer again to the neighborhood and people in want. That’s actually vital to us.”
Sooner or later, Oliver and Snyder would like to develop the Love At all times Challenge past social media. Their purpose is to have their clothes in native State Faculty retailers or on their very own web site.
To buy objects from the Love At all times Challenge, take a look at their Instagram and direct message to order. Transport is free for State Faculty residents.