How a Student Entrepreneur Started Her Own Clothing Line
Buffoonery started in November 2017 in a very 21st century way. I just started following this girl on Instagram who lives in New York and she had just started blogging. She posted a video where she interviewed a guy named Chris who created his own brand. He explained a few ins and outs on how he went about making his brand, OHKAY, in Boston. I’ve always been interested in small businesses and in the past have made multiple attempts to start my own. After watching this video, I realized this was something I could really do. I mean, I had a stack of babysitting money so why not?
I started out by creating a logo. I actually went to school over Christmas break because I didn’t have Adobe Illustrator on my computer. I texted my friends and asked them to send me weird words because I knew that’s where I wanted to start. Drew ended up sending “Buffoonery” in the group and that was perfect. It was perfect because it’s so real and relevant to EVERYTHING. Our government, school, people, social problems, all of it is Buffoonery. I made about 18 different mock ups of different logos and sent them to everyone I trust. After a while, we ended up on the OG design:
All of November, I called around Denver CO to print shops and went online to order a few hoodies. By January, I had everything ready including a Denver run print shop to help me with printing. I called my friend from another school for photography and my friends from East (my high school). The following Friday we shot the first line of finalized Buffoonery hoodies.
After a while, I began struggling with the print company and I looked into screen printing on my own. Youtube can be very helpful, not just when it comes to inspiring an idea. So, after watching multiple videos I went to Ace Hardware and got some supplies to make my own printing press and screens. In a span of 5 hours while trying not to cut my hand off with the power saw, I created my very own single arm press and two screens to go along with it. A local art store had everything I needed to prep the screens. That night I stretched the silk over the frames, stapled them up, and spread on the emulsion. The next day after using translucents (to get my logo into the emulsion) that I had made at Office Depot, I was already cleaning out the screen to get my logo exposed. Here were the results:
Press Back View
Press Side View
Press Front View
Buffoonery meaning (literal): (n) behavior that is ridiculous but amusing
The whole idea of this brand is that it’s teen-made and produced for teens in this generation. I just turned 18 and am the sole owner of the company, my photographer turned 18 in April, and my models are 17 and 18. We can do just as much as any true adult can and everything we’ve built together proves that. As I mentioned, Buffoonery represents a lot of the bigger issues that are going on right now. High school is complete Buffoonery. People are Buffoonery. Our nation is total Buffoonery! It’s all just Buffoonery so why not have a tangible object to express that. Our generation is so into progression and acceptance and that is what I would like this to be. It should be something for everyone to share that expresses what we’re feeling (Buffoonery is what I’m definitely feeling). It’s time to point out the Buffoonery in this world and I’m pumped that I can do it in a way I enjoy for others to share.
Overall, this company isn’t something I want to be a giant thing. However, I would eventually like to make enough profit so I can donate money to charities that fall into what the company stands for. This isn’t something I’m trying to make money off of, it’s more of an exploration for myself personally. I also really want to help people have a clearer understanding of Buffoonery and what that means to me and what it means to them.
Future/ Upcoming Projects
For a smaller goal, I would like to sell out of everything so that I can start on my next project, which really pinpoints what Buffoonery means to me. The next line will be called “It’s all just Buffoonery” and I’m hoping to make it long lasting or even permanent. It will include “My Fair Lady” which is a symbol I’ve created for this section (I’ve attached a little picture of her) and a variety of vintage, re-purposed pieces that will have a mix of print and embroidery on them. That’s all I will say for now, because I’d like it to be more of a surprise. 😉 Another smaller tangible goal I’m working on is having artists create what they feel is Buffoonery and sell that through the site. I won’t take any profit from them, I would just like to share their art and work together with other artists on a bigger platform. I feel I’m doing a version of art as well. Working with artists is a way I can share the platform I am trying to create. I have two artists lined up right now but I’m looking for more so we’ll see where all of that heads.
If you have more questions, and you can always email or DM our Instagram too. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also look at our site, straightbuffoonery.com
Buffoonery 🙂 😛
Author: Isabella Johnson
Photos: Isabella Johnson
Editor: Chelsea Evic