GV students create budget-friendly snowboard apparel business

GVL / Courtesy Photo
GVSU junior Ryan Taylor snowboarding.

Courtesy photo

GVL / Courtesy Photo GVSU junior Ryan Taylor snowboarding.

Rachel Melke

Shred. When defined by snowboarders, this means to “shred the slopes,” or carve the ice with his or her snowboard.

S.H.R.E.D. For Grand Valley State University students Max McCain and Ryan Taylor, this not only relates to their snowboarder definitions, but is also given a different meaning as well. This acronym of shred defines who they are and what they live for: Success, hope, risk, effort and dedication.

“These are the five key goals we experience through life, snowboarding and sports in general,” McCain said.

You may see this motto duplicated on a simple t-shirt, beneath a U-shaped ribbon and an exploding star, a logo for a small business McCain and Taylor started called Broken Star Krew, which began in November. Already, the business has grown from a few sketches and ideas to more than 40 sales.

While living in the dorms, McCain was introduced to Taylor through Taylor’s sister. They learned they both enjoyed snowboarding, went a few times, and joked about starting an apparel company; however, when it was brought up, McCain decided to go with it.

“Max messed around on his computer and came up with a logo,” Taylor said. Taylor was surprise that their jokes had turned into a real business. Although the first logo created is not the logo they are currently using, it had sparked more interest between McCain and Taylor.

After they figured out the final logo, Max set up a website the two could use to promote their small business.

McCain was fortunate to know someone who worked with embroidery and printing to work with them as a trustworthy supplier. This is when they figured out pricing.

“It was overwhelming,” McCain said.

McCain and Taylor had their first order of shirts, which they sold to family and friends.

“We’ve been hearing from people we don’t know,” Taylor said, proving the word of their business has spread beyond those close to them.

A year from now, both McCain and Taylor hope that their business will continue and grow, starting with setting up a booth in Kirkhof expected around the end of February. Right now, they are focusing on their team of riders who they sponsor to help spread the word further from slope to slope.

Broken Star Krew currently has two types of t-shirts with four color choices – white, sports gray, safety green and sky blue – and one type of shirt is sold both in short- and long-sleeve varieties. The other is only available short-sleeve. Shirts retail at $20 for short-sleeve and $25 for long-sleeve, although McCain and Taylor hope to lower the prices to offset larger snowboarding companies as well as keep the shirts affordable for college students.

“The fact that their stuff is so cheap goes to show that they aren’t in this for the money, but for the true love of the sport,” said GVSU student Chandra Price.

You can find Broken Star Krew on Facebook or their website at www.wix.com/maxmccain24/brokenstarkrew.

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