As high school comes to a close, many schools offer apparel for the seniors to celebrate their class. For Aaron Smith, the limited options were not appealing.
With extra time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith and his friend Tivon Liguori decided to design their own shirts.
“We didn’t see a ton of options being sent to us that we really were into. The schools were showing some stuff, but we just wanted some more options,” Smith said. “We thought that it would be fun to make our own little startup.”
Right around the same time quarantine began, Liguori’s father purchased a laser cutter and a t-shirt heat press.
“I’m really good at computers and stuff, so he wanted me to set it up for him,” Smith said. “So then I started looking at (Tivon) and we got this idea. ‘What if we made our own t-shirt company?’ We eventually landed on the idea of the Class of 2020.”
To make the shirts, Liguori draws all the designs in ink and sends them to Smith.
“He’s a really good artist,” Smith said.
Smith then uploads the designs to Photoshop and recreates them in a digital format.
While the current designs focus on the Class of 2020, Smith said he wants to expand.
“In another month or two months … we kind of want to change our focus to start our own custom designs,” he said.
Smith also said he and Liguori are planning on designing shirts to show support for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
“We’re thinking about — in a little while — doing a run of shirts that are kind of like a superhero nurse design,” he said.
Smith and Liguori named their company 2020 Outlet, and have been working on it intensely for the past few weeks.
The company website, 2020Outlet.com, launched early this week, and is now open to place orders.
“We’ve had lots of interest,” Smith said. “Lots of people are sharing it.”