When you’re used to paying for college with a full-ride football scholarship, what do you do when that falls through? For sophomore Dustyn Sloane, you transfer colleges, call up your childhood best friend, and decide to start a T-shirt company.
Fancy Duck Co. was created this past summer by two Georgia Southern students: owner and founder, Sloane, and co-owner and CFO Luke Graham. Neither of them had any experience in T-shirt printing or running a business, but they still gave it a shot, and it seemed to work out.
“He was in Tennessee when he called me and I was in my history class. He said ‘Do you want to start a T-shirt company?’ and I said ‘Yeah,’” said Graham.
Just like that, Fancy Duck Co. was born.
Running a t-shirt business was never game plan for either of the men. Both sophomores, Sloane is pre-nursing major while Graham is a civil engineering major.
“It was really trial-and-error honestly. We talked to some local people about how to start up a business and pretty much everything we’ve done, we’ve self-taught ourselves all the way through,” said Sloane. “It’s kind of funny because I think really the only reason I did start doing it was kind of to prove the people I told about it wrong. They all told me I couldn’t do it.”
In the six months since starting the business, the company has seen a definite wave of success. Originally taking orders for 25 t-shirts at a time, now orders up to 200 aren’t uncommon.
The company caters to what the demand is for college students. All shirts are printed on Comfort Color t-shirts, most designs are created by Sloane but can be customizable upon request, and all of the products are what every college student loves: T-shirts, hats, koozies, decals, with more to come.
“We’ve got some stuff coming out soon. There’s going to be more college-theme, your patriotic stuff, girl stuff. We’re going to be doing polos in the spring,” said Sloane.
Although Fancy Duck Co. has taken off mostly in Sloane and Graham’s hometown of Jesup, Ga., their real goal is to attract more Georgia Southern students.
“If we can get our foot in Statesboro, with the Georgia Southern student population, it’d be really awesome. And I think it’d be really cool if it ever did blow up that it came from Southern,” said Sloane.
Although both men plan to continue their degrees, they haven’t ruled out the possibility of turning Fancy Duck Co. into a career, but for now, though, it’s just something they love to do.
“My favorite thing is probably seeing people wearing and enjoying our stuff,” Sloane said.
“Especially when we do same day delivery and we deliver the shirt and they get a big smile on their face.” Graham said.
Despite the hometown success, the real goal of Fancy Duck Co. is to create a brand that Georgia Southern students can call their own.
“We don’t want people to think this is some kind of outsider brand. We want people to think ‘Fancy Duck’ is ours,” Sloane said.
You can shop Fancy Duck Co. at www.fancyduckco.com. Georgia Southern students get a 15% discount with promo code “GATA”. The website also offers same day delivery and free delivery on order over $50.
You can also check out the company on Facebook, Twitterand Instagram at @fancyduckco or by searching #getfancy.