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If you’ve ever seen SWΔG stickers around the city it’s because of this guy! Joe Balich is a junior, communications major and environmental science minor who started SWΔG, a Chicago Clothing Company, his freshman year at UIC. Joe says SWΔG is an adopted term “intertwined with a generation’s culture and lifestyle, and manipulated it to further express a global generational likeness.” Though he is now taking a break to concentrate on school, he cannot wait to graduate and start to work on “revolutionary charity sh*t!”

HC (Her Campus): How did SW∆G start? Where did the name come from?

JB (Joe Balich): The idea was conceived my senior year of high school in 2011. This was when swag was a cool word, but I couldn’t think of what it really was. Then I thought, its whatever u want it to be, its a variable. That’s also how the “Delta Factor” came about. “The delta symbol in science and mathematics represents change and in the global society we live in today, change is perpetual.”

HC: What piqued your interest in clothing?

JB: It’s really random actually, the fashion industry is a part of urban culture. I was able to do everything I enjoyed doing. It involves design, manufacturing, business, hip-hop, music, artists, producers, promoters, and event planners! Everything is intertwined and I met a bunch of cool people.

HC: How did you market or advertise your business?

JB: The summer before I started college, I knew a lot of people from different schools in the city. Growing up as a city kid, we know what’s cool before it is cool, so I just marketed to cool city kids. But of course I used social media, word of mouth, and I gave to promotion teams. Oh and stickers! People love people with stickers, so I started giving them out at parties and started sticker smacking everything!

HC: Who is the most popular person you sold to?

JB: One of my crew necks was in a Chief Keef music video, DJ LYVE has a swag strap (bracelet), and Chance the Rapper came to a party I sponsored. I also had the opportunity of working with Chris Smokes, who has been making major moves with his Private Stock Gallery & is doing business with countless big names.

HC: Do you have any role models that inspire what you do?

JB: I don’t aspire to be in his line of work but I have learned so much from him and following his road to success is an inspiration.

HC: Summarize a day in the life of Joe Balich.  

JB: Every day is different for me. Some days I get up early, go to school, and work on fraternity stuff. Other days I’ll go to the gym, learn a new instrument, or even take some photos. I’m all over the place waiting for things to fall into place.

HC: Are you involved in any other activities at UIC or elsewhere?

JB: I’m the Vice President of Zeta Psi, I work for CPS, and I’m a Red Bull Photographer.

HC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

JB: I don’t know where I’ll be… Hopefully I have started a charity or non-profit, or at least out of college with a few businesses. I just want to be successful doing crazy, next level stuff. No plans! I just want that success and happiness!

HC: What is your dream job?

JB: My dreamiest job would be working for myself and being able to apply all my passions and talents at once. I have a charity idea I’m working on that will be amazing.

HC: What celebrity do you think you would be best friends with?

JB: It’s a tie between Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake. They each do so much, so many different projects on top of very successful careers.


Sydney is currently a junior at UIC. Apart from writing the Campus Celebrity column for HerCampus-UIC, she also serves as the Vice President in her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma. As of now her major is undeclared, however she would like to major in marketing and finance. When she is not on campus, she is working at her internships, going to concerts, hanging out with friends, and enjoying life as it comes. In the future she hopes to go into some sort of public relations career, such as event planning, but also keeps her options open. Sydney works hard and tries to take advantage of as many opportunities that come her way!
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