LOGAN – Between his classes and position as the USU Student Association Programming VP, USU student Sawyer Hemsley has plenty to keep him busy. In addition to his school responsibilities he now sets aside time each day to design clothes and manage his recently-started clothing company.
Earlier this month, Hemsley launched the <a href=”http://embrthreads.com/” target=”_blank”>Embr Threads website</a> where his unique clothing designs are sold. Every piece displayed is designed by Hemsley himself, and he’s trying to set them apart from the rest. He found that searching online through page after page for clothes he liked was tiring and that the vast majority were “not interesting.” Now his goal is to fix that problem and provide clothes that are original, different and comfortable.
“I just feel like everything is the same, so I’m all about simple and clean,” he said. “I just think that is what people are looking for. I don’t really know how big it will go, but I just want it to just impact people in a way.”
That vision and desire to impact people played a part in the Embr Threads name and logo.
“The logo is a geometric fire and so our motto is ‘Start the world on fire,’ or ‘Start the fire,’” he said. “With a fire there are always embers within that fire.”
Hemsley said he has always had some sort of interest in clothing and fashion but couldn’t realistically see a career in it. There didn’t seem to be much money to be made. While money isn’t his main motivator, he is now seeing potential possibilities with the company, including a possible career if it does well.
According to Hemsley, much of the work is completed in-between classes and USUSA VP responsibilities. Everything produced is one of Hemsley’s designs, but he has hired help. He finds time to sit with his designers and works with them until what he sees on the computer matches his vision.
“I don’t just call a designer and say, ‘Hey I need this design, this is kind of what I’m thinking. Design it for me, let me know,’” he said. “I just always want them to come from me, you know? So they are original, they’re different, they’re trendy, cause I just feel like I know what the certain crowd I want to buy my shirts want and the certain style they are looking for.”
Hemsley credited his Instagram account for providing a boost that helped get company started. Instagram began promoting Hemsley and his account to others as a “suggested user.” During that time he went from 2,500 followers to more than 51,000.
“I had previously made a couple of shirts so I said, ‘I need to do something with this, especially with all this exposure I’m getting,’” he said.
Hemsley had already wanted to start a T-shirt company and had designs up on his blog, but said he knew he couldn’t do it by himself. A man from Provo named Jason McGowan saw the T-shirts on the blog and approached him about making the designs a reality.
“It kind of fell into my lap I guess you could say,” Hemsley said.
Hemsley said he doesn’t believe the Instagram followers weren’t the only reason McGowan decided to help him start the company, but believes it was part of it.
“I don’t feel like it was a major aspect, but I feel like he saw that I had that exposure and that people were following me and were interested in what I was doing,” he said. “I feel like he did think it was better to start something now and with me rather than someone that didn’t really have that exposure.”
Hemsley credited his family members for helping him in the day-to-day work of the company and for teaching him principles he utilizes to be effective with it.
“I think I have a good balance when it comes to work and having fun because I was raised in a hard-working home where we were always kept so busy improving and developing our talents and learning to manage our time wisely,” he said. “We were also taught to do a lot of service and always have a smile, so its not like its a hard thing, but I have learned to manage my time well.”