Covering up campus

Covering up campus

Four Northeastern students start clothing company to inspire school spirit

By Erica Thompson
News Correspondent

Four Northeastern students have added a school spirit spin on Nike’s motto which is more than just clever, it’s part of the university’s newly founded student-run clothing line, NUde Wear.

The name stands for Northeastern University Design Entrepreneurs, and the fledgling company is headed by soon-to-be-middlers, Teddy Cordes, Jared Glassman, Chuck Svirk and Matthew Valich. Cordes, Glassman and Svirk are entrepreneurship majors, and Valich studies film.

“We thought that Northeastern didn’t have very much school spirit and we really wanted to do something to unite the students and try and get everyone together wearing the same shirt,” Glassman said.
250 shirts and one month later, the slogan “Just NU It” has become a familiar phrase in Northeastern lingo.

The shirts are $15 with a $5 shipping fee. Students who purchase one from their store, located at 120 Hemenway Street, receive a $5 discount, making the t-shirt only $10. The four co-owners also sporadically set up stands on campus to sell their product.

The founders are not only friends and business partners, but also co-workers at EF Tours, a Cambridge–based tourism company. Their co-op job provided the inspiration and perfect forum for creating NUde Wear, according to Svirk.

It all started when the four attended an entrepreneurship seminar led by professor George Levesque from Yale University. “After listening to him, we decided we wanted to start something of our own,” Svirk said.

Glassman said his role at EF easily ties in with his work at NUde Wear.

“It’s great because I’m doing customer service and sales at EF, and my role at co-op has overlapped into my role at NUde Wear,” he said.
Likewise, Svirk does marketing and Cordes helps with organization and planning at both EF and at NUde Wear. Their boss at EF has been nothing but supportive, Glassman said.

NUde Wear’s first sales were during graduation, where they sold 80 shirts in total.

“We attacked graduation,” Glassman said. “We had ordered shirts and had them delivered to our office in Cambridge, and it just happened to be the same day as graduation. On our lunch break we went over to the [TD] Garden where graduation was.”

The first day proved to be a success.

“We got so much positive feedback and compliments,” said Cordes. “It was a great way to start, selling that many on our first day.”

From there, NUde Wear has only expanded. The company uses Facebook and their website, gonudewear.com, to help promote their name.

“My marketing co-op helped a lot with the website,” Svirk said. “I don’t have any experience with graphic design but we figured it out.”

NUde Wear is not only concerned with creating comraderie among students and building a relationship with the university, but also hopes to give back to the school for the opportunities they have been afforded.

“Jared wants to start a company called FNUDS, which is ‘funds’ with the NU switched,” said Svirk. “Basically, every profit from that shirt will go to new things on campus or a charity or whatever the school decides to do with it. We’re trying to give back to the school as well,” said Svirk.

After another EF seminar with Eric Qualman, the author of Socialnomics, a book about the importance of social media and networking, NUde Wear created a Twitter.

“The radio station [WRBB] asked us on Twitter if we wanted to do a promotional thing with them, so that’s been essential,” Glassman said.

NUde Wear has no intentions of slowing down. The company has opened a contest through Facebook and the website, where customers can send in an idea for a T-shirt and the best design will win $100 cash and see their design be produced and sold. The contest began at the end of May, and is anticipated to finish by the end of August, Glassman said.

“Eventually it’s not going to be just T-shirts, it’s going to be shorts and stuff too,” Glassman said. “We’re trying to establish a brand name, [so people know] NUde Wear as a company. We want to have people buying from us saying to each other, ‘Oh did you get that thing from NUde Wear?’”

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