Student Interviews: Nicou
- April 10, 2017
- Posted by: Kim
- Category: Interviews
A few weekends ago (February 4 – 5), we ran a 2-day intensive workshop for ambitious teens to learn how to create, launch, and run their own online t-shirt business! Our goal with the workshop was to give these kids the tangible skills and the know-how they need to get an e-commerce business started from square one. It was inspiring to see a number of cool, innovative, and viable t-shirt businesses coming out of it. I was lucky enough to be able to catch up with one of the teens, Nicou (16), to learn about his experience at Startup Skool’s Shopify & T-Shirts.
After chatting about his desire to solve real problems in our society, I was eager to hear more about the why behind his t-shirt business.
I had been thinking about starting a t-shirt business for a while now, so it was all just a really weird coincidence! My mom got an email from Startup Skool about the workshop and was like “hey, weren’t you just saying you wanted to start your own t-shirt business?” It was totally meant to be. We signed up right then and there!
Have you experimented with entrepreneurship before or is this your first experience with it?
I sometimes make graphics for my friends’ websites! Other than that, I did Startup Skool in the summer and learned HTML & CSS and what different companies do to get their names out there. Basically, we were learning the steps required to make our own businesses. In camp, we developed a business that connected enthusiasts across different hobbies. Our goal was to connect people that like cars with other people that like cars – and the same idea for drones, bikes, fishing, video games etc. We wanted to open the door to different social gatherings in specific hobbies that would normally take some time and effort to get into!
Tell me about the why behind your t-shirt business.
A lot of guys in Vancouver are into “Street wear.” Basically whatever Kanye West wears, we wear. Some of us are bigger than the clothing sizes available, so my mission is to offer more sizes so that we can still follow the trend we’re so into. Right now I’m following a lighter, colourful design by a brand called Gulf. The next round I develop will be a darker design and that will be inspired by the 90s Los Angeles Hip Hip scene. After that, I’ll get into more of the modern stuff, like longer lines and “black all over.”
Are you going to keep your t-shirt business going after the workshop ends this weekend?
Yes, definitely. I know a lot of guys like me who have the exact same problem, so I’d love to provide a solution.
How to get the business going properly. Without this workshop I probably wouldn’t have known where to start!
Do you think entrepreneurship will become apart of your future now that you’ve had a taste of what it’s like?
My mom’s always like “you should start a business for yourself” and I’m going to listen to her because she’s usually right. My mom is also running her own businesses now so we’re kind of in this together! Her day job is a nurse, but she’s doing some projects with biodegradable toothbrushes and helping to build more coffee chains in the Philippines.
Overall, what has your experience been like this weekend at Shopify & T-Shirts? Are you happy you signed up?
I learned so many skills that I need to run my business and I learned it better here than trying to spend 3 weeks figuring it out on my own!
What’s a tip you’d give a future student completing the Shopify & T-Shirts workshop?
If they’re planning to keep it going, they should pay attention to the trend. The 90s are coming back – somehow (he says laughing). They should listen closely because there’s some cool stuff to see and play off of!
Pretty darn cool for 16 years old, right? I was blown away by Nicou’s passion and drive – he recognized a huge pain point in his circle of friends and he’s decided to do something real about it. Nicou is going to continue on with his t-shirt business over the next few months and we’ll check back in with him soon to hear more about how his launch goes! I speak for everyone at Startup Skool when I say we can’t wait to watch his progress along the way.
As co-founder of Boldly and a long-time supporter of Startup Skool, Shelby is a lover of all things entrepreneurship & impact. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow along on her journey as she explores the fast-paced world of start-ups through her articles and general musings.