Name: Ian and Jordan Smith
Ian – Senior
Jordan – Sophomore
Ian – Industrial Systems Engineering
Jordan – Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Loveland, Ohio
Ian – Guitar, Rubik’s Cube, Lifting, Running and Design.
Jordan – Fitness, Guitar and Hair cutting
Between Homage, Devoted, Shop Local and numerous other vendors of local t-shirts, it is obvious that there is a trend in the t-shirt market; a love for Columbus and locally made products. Ian and Jordan wanted to dive into this market, but they didn’t want to just sell t-shirts, they wanted to sell a message packed with meaning. So they founded Columbus Love, a t-shirt company that supports nonprofits in the Columbus community.Visit their website columbuslove.co to order a shirt today!
HC: Can you tell us a little bit about collaboration between Columbus Love and local nonprofits?
IS: In creating the brand, we realized a lot of t-shirt brands also do non-profit donations. However, we wanted to be different. We didn’t want to just sign a check and be done, we wanted to get involved. Through our projects with non-profits, we can email buyers at the end of each campaign and show them what was actually done with the funding and how it impacted the community. Our first campaign recently finished with Columbus Community Kitchen, and now we have started the six week love series with them. In this, all of the kids participate in activities centered on love. They will be making blankets to give to children suffering from illness at Nationwide. We wanted to show the kids who are receiving help from the Kitchen that they could also give through acts of love.
JS: It’s about giving back, and we wanted to celebrate spirit in Columbus. We do this through partnering with non-profits.
HC: What made you want to involve more in the t-shirts than just a cool design?
IS: It was kind of a cool mixture, Jordan initially liked the cool t-shirt, and I wanted to help with community. We were both inspired by the idea and just ran with it. What it really was, was finding something we’re passionate about, which was giving back to community. That’s the fuel that drives us. The t-shirt is the product, but that is just the physical aspect of that passion. We wanted to find something that meant more than just a sexy t-shirt.
JS: When I came up with Columbus love, we got the t-shirt design first and I had a friend who recently started a similar venture, so I mentioned it to Ian. He sat down and really started to expand upon that idea.
HC: What’s been your favorite part about this whole process?
IS: For the past four years, I’ve been a student, so it’s hard to branch out from the campus bubble of class, study and beer. What I love about Columbus Love is the chance to dip into the community as a catalyst for change and growth, and see that change unfold before my eyes. I never envisioned it happening so fast, but I love being able to make an impact outside of student life.
JS: The best part has been working with my brother. I’ve learned a lot from him. In the early stages, I loved seeing the idea develop right before our eyes. It all started on a to-go box and transformed into a real product. I’m most looking forward to the projects with the nonprofits and life changes we can evoke within the community.
HC: What are your plans for after graduation?
IS: Depends on how successful Columbus Love is. It started out with one non-profit and now it’s getting bigger. We have four partners on the horizon, Ohio SPCA, Vet Motor Sports, Pet Promise and Make-a-Wish Foundation. People are loving the model and what we’re doing. Anything you do, and any project you pursue, having a plan B takes away from plan A. If I planned on doing anything but Columbus Love, I think I’d be selling myself and the company short. I’m excited to see what unfolds.
JS: Depends, I haven’t thought about it in too much detail yet. My plan when I came into school was to work hard, have an internship and go into a company. Now, however, I’ve discovered a passion I have and I’ve seen that follow through into a tangible thing. When you find your passion, go after it. I’m not thinking in the future about the biggest company or the best job, but seeking after what my passion is and putting all of my eggs in one basket.