This week I was fortunate enough to be able to ask small business owner, Diamond Hemrick, some questions about their business, Tailgate Fever. The store sells a wide variety of gameday and college merch! Below you can find the behind the scenes scoop of what Tailgate Fever has to offer!
Her Campus (HC): First, thank you for agreeing to answer some questions! Could you introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about Tailgate Fever?
Diamond Hemrick (DH): Hello! My name is Diamond Hemrick, I am a junior majoring in public relations and the CEO and Founder of Tailgate Fever. Tailgate Fever was started in September of 2019 and we make and sell one-of-a-kind, vintage, affordable and size-inclusive gameday merch.
HC: What inspired you to start your business?
DH: I started my business because I noticed that there was a huge gap in the market, specifically for size-inclusive and affordable tailgate or game day apparel. I saw that most gameday merchandise was catered towards people of a smaller build (size xsmall-small) and that there was not a lot of merchandise for other sizes (medium-3XL). I wanted all my friends to have cute and size-inclusive options without having to pay exorbitant amounts of money. In the gameday apparel industry, pricing is usually set extremely high. For example, I’ve seen something as simple as a t-shirt being sold for at least $40-$60 dollars. I wanted to make it more affordable for college students on a budget or financial need, like myself. Finally, I wanted to make merchandise that has a one-of-a-kind experience, where you wouldn’t see other girls wearing the exact same tops as you at tailgate parties or all over the stadium. I wanted to create items that had unique traits, such as acid wash and tie-dye customization or lace-up and zipper detailing. Overall, I was just inspired to make and sell merch that was affordable, size-inclusive and unique.
HC: What’s your process to get the clothes? Do you hunt down old students or is it more of an organic process where you happen to find things?
DH: I would say that it’s probably a combination of both! I have many friends who have graduated and have donated their items to me. I also spend most of my time tracking down and exploring yard and estate sales and have a lot of luck with that.
HC: I saw that you can get anything you order customized for a small fee. That’s really awesome and unique to your vintage store! Is there anything else you make an effort to do for your brand?
DH: Absolutely! I realize that not everyone is involved in the tailgating/game day scene but are still invested in having school spirit. Therefore, we make and sell tons of other products that can be worn beyond just a single gameday! I sell vintage outerwear (such as windbreakers, pullovers and jackets), skirts, shorts, custom sweatpants, bucket hats, tube tops, sunglasses and so much more! We even have some merchandise specifically for parents of students! I make an effort to deliver exceptional customer service and do my very best to work one-on-one with all of our customers to ensure they have their perfect custom item no matter their size or budget! I also make an effort to have extremely fast shipping and have been told on several occasions that Tailgate Fever shipping is “faster than Amazon Prime!”
HC: I’m sure your customers love the wide variety of clothes you offer! How have you grown since you started?
DH: So, Tailgate Fever is approaching its one year anniversary of business and has grown exponentially since I started. I run my business on Instagram and now have almost over 3,000 followers. We primarily focus on making and selling merch for Florida colleges (such as FSU, UF and UCF), but I have made merch for schools in Alabama, Georgia, New York, etc. I’ve sent apparel to customers in almost every state in the country. I’ve been able to host pop-up shops in different college cities with all of my merch and recently started the Tailgate Fever Ambassador program.
HC: Speaking of growth, do you have any advice for anyone trying to start a business?
DH: My best advice is to stay focused, consistent and confident. Don’t worry about what other businesses are doing, just focus on what you have planned and execute it to the best of your abilities.
HC: Again, thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions. Is there anything you would like future customers to know about your business?
DH: We have the BEST tailgate and gameday apparel out there! If you order from us, you will stand out at the tailgate parties and everyone will be asking where your outfit is from! We have the best customer service, extremely fast shipping and are dedicated to delivering the best products of the highest quality to you!
Check us out on Instagram @tailgatefever and feel free to DM us any of your questions or requests!