College offers us plenty of opportunities to branch out and try a new sport, join a new club, or maybe even learn a new language. But some don’t hold anything back and they follow through with their passions, like these four ladies who took the plunge and created their own fashion lines. Ever wonder what it’s like to balance fashion with school work? Take a look at how they take style into their own hands.
Lana Caster: Caster Collection
There’s nothing worse than walking into a party and seeing the girl across the room wearing the same exact shirt as you. With popular chain stores around campus it’s not hard to believe that there is a lot of overlap of collegiettes buying the same clothing items. But Lana Caster solved this problem by creating shirts that were from her unique imagination.
How she began:
This sophomore at Boston University moved from sunny Florida to the chilly Northeast to study advertising, never expecting to have her own fashion line within a year. She never had the intention of becoming a college fashion designer until she stumbled upon the idea of making printed t-shirts from doodles and drawings she did in her spare time.
“The collection began from drawing in my apartment and receiving attention with my drawings,” Caster says. “Then I decided to print them on T-shirts and it quickly developed into a business venture!”
Where she is now:
The Caster Collection includes long- and short- sleeved shirts, tank-tops, and pullovers with printed black or white images that Caster herself draws by hand. Available for both ladies and guys, each item in the collection is screen printed with a distinctive drawing, ranging from skulls with mustaches to anchors to dream catchers.
“My designs come from random bursts of inspiration from different parts of my life,” Caster says. From sketches to success, this collegiette found a way to take her passion for drawing and create a business out of it. She says that she doesn’t think of just one specific kind of person when she is making her designs, but instead she lets customers find their own connections to them. And her advertising major is a bonus on top of everything, just check out her website above! Although she says the site was the most difficult part of starting up the business, it now allows anyone to shop her collection online. But after three months of tedious work, she uses the website along with social media and student groups to get the word out about her line.
Even though balancing work and school can be difficult, Caster says the whole process has been exciting, simply because it’s what she loves to do. Since she is already used to being busy, after working at a clothing boutique, taking classes, and starting her own business, the work she is doing now is difficult, but does not feel too overwhelming.
“When the collection started to develop further I learned the importance of placing time and energy into one project than trying to do a bunch of different things without my full attention,” she says. “School and the collection are my priorities so I find the time to balance both.”
Devoting at least an hour each day to thinking of new ideas, she would like to see her line move forward. With her friends by her side, supporting her with encouragement, modeling or with photography skills, everything up to now has led her to her own fashion line and profitable business based around her love of fashion and art.
Where she’s going:
By tapping into the power of social media and word of mouth, the Caster Collection has received recognition on campus and off. Joining forces with Unitiques has also helped launch her line and promote the sales of her products.
“At this point I could develop the collection to a full time job or have it on the side as a way to be involved in my own business and make money through college,” Caster says. “I'm excited to see where the next few years lead me.”
Take a look at her website to see displays of all of her different designs, and maybe even find your own top to show off your unique style. Keep a look out for more styles to come!