Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


People of UW: Wisconsin Design Team founder talks creating timeless Wisconsin-themed clothing

Stories of students: Read about students making a difference on campus

Editor’s note: People of UW is a human interest series produced by Badger Herald staff members. The series aims to highlight a student or student group at the University of Wisconsin making an impact on the campus community. These Q&As are lightly edited for clarity and style.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born outside Chicago and moved to Middleton, WI, a Madison suburb, in 2000. I was an art major with no emphasis and completed the entrepreneurship certificate. I finished classes in the fall of 2021 and graduated in the spring of 2022.


What is the Wisconsin Design Team?

If you break it down, our mission statement, it’s creating timeless Wisconsin clothing that reflects the cultures and traditions of Wisconsin and the Midwest.

We have our license to create clothing more reflective of the university and sports teams, and there is the private label stuff that highlights more  of the culture of Wisconsin and everything you see outside the university. Giving it a cooler feel than the average Wisconsin merch.

What’s your role for the company?

I’m an owner, one of the three guys, with Sam and Briar, that started the company. I run the store on State Street, manage employees, run events, manage sales, stock and inventory, while also designing what we have here with the other two guys.

How did this all start?

Sam and Briar both graduated from UW little bit before me, with Sam ending up starting a print shop, Playground Printing, in New York. He asked me if I wanted to intern for a summer, so I did in the summer of 2021, and it was a super awesome experience. At the end I went back to school, and we all realized that there’s an opening in the market for cool college gear, especially for guys. At tailgates, guys are wearing a polo or hoodie and it was so basic, so we started putting our own spin on merch. Because of the print shop, we were able to create an idea and produce it. I came back to school and it started spreading from just word of mouth and Instagram. We were doing pop ups on State Street, and the next step was to have a store like we have now.

What are your long-term goals for the company?

The store has only been here for six months, so we’re still learning. Making cool stuff that sticks to the principles. We’re working with the community outside of UW, like groups and restaurants and then also directly with the university with sports teams and students. We’re also looking to expand and get more licenses for other schools, especially those Midwest Big Ten schools, but we’re definitely keeping the roots here and having Wisconsin as the forefront.

How do you make a design?

For some of it, you don’t go too far for inspiration. Just going outside and being around here in Madison, you see stuff, or watching movies or listening to music. We also look at what has already been done and mix it with a current trend.

Do you have any tips for students who want to start their own business?

You have to know it’s going to be a journey. I’m only 25 and I’ve got a lot to learn. Have fun, care about what you are doing and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You’re going to mess up a lot for sure, but keep going and keep trying, you are not going to fail forever.

What motivates you?

Sam, Briar and I have so much more to accomplish and we are just scratching the surface. I’m in a nice spot where I get to do what I like every day. We know this can be so much bigger than it is.

How can students get involved?

We work with a lot of student organizations to create merch for events. We usually do not make stuff for less than 50 pieces. Also, we are always down to work with new people. There was someone at a Retail Association meeting who put herself out there, and she is now our social media intern.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *