Easy Columbus: Frosh Tees

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

How many college students can go to school full-time and still have the energy to run a successful and growing business?

Since the fall of 2008, a group of students from Ohio State has been doing just that. Frosh Tees Limited, a line of class T-shirts for incoming college freshmen, is the creation of Nils Root, a junior studying finance and entrepreneurship at OSU.

The fun and affordable tees are customized to represent college towns throughout the country. The line started with five cities and has expanded to more than 100, Root said, with customers from all over the United States.

Root has a theory as to why the shirts have been so popular.

"You are so ready for college come winter or spring of your senior year," Root said. "That excitement and enthusiasm is so there, that when people get the chance to show off where they're going, they jump at the opportunity."

Every aspect of Frosh Tees is handled by a staff of seven students. From brand management to website design to accounting, the students and their talents are crucial to the success of the business. A few members even studied marketing and fashion merchandising in Milan, Italy.

Root stressed how important time management is for the staff, who has to attend classes in between their work with Frosh Tees.

"It is student owned, managed, operated and built," Root said. "We all have 24 hours in a day, and you can spend it watching VH1 ... but [running a business] is something that I enjoy. I've enjoyed the process of building a business. It's definitely something I wanted to experience."

Frosh Tees recently branched out, adding a line of underwear to their collection. The new Frosh Panties come in different colors and display the student's anticipated graduation year, just like the T-shirts.

"The core of the business is T-shirts, but we're experimenting with a new line of underwear that serves the college market," Root said. "We think there's a lot of room for us to experiment and expand. It's constantly changing, constantly developing."

Looking ahead to the future, Root thinks it'd be great to continue working with Frosh Tees but is also open to taking other jobs after college.

"It has been such a great learning experience," Root said. "I know for certain a lot of the value I will take away from this is the learning experience."

To check out the Frosh Tees line, click to FroshTees.com.

Heather Weekly is a junior at Otterbein College majoring in broadcasting

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