The world of business is upon Fairmont High School as two sophomores build their own from the ground up. These businesses were thought of and created independently by their respective owners. The businesses are currently in progress, and running well in their early stages of life.
Sophomore, Dillon Cahill, owner of Driggy, started his clothing business out of his admiration for rapper Tyler, The Creator. He said that he loved seeing his favorite celebrities with their own businesses and clothing lines. His inspiration for Driggy came from Golf Wang, an american clothing line started in 2010.
“This is something that I can wear and make my own, and make a little empire,” Cahill said.
Cahill stated that he is not enrolled in a business class at Fairmont High school and that this is just an activity that he does on the side.
in 2016 his business began to grow. He made $700 off of white t-shirts with the Driggy logo on them. Most of his sales come from Kettering residents.
“People really like my designs and my business, and they support me,” Cahill said.
Some products that are apart of Driggy are t-shirts for $12, beanies for $20, hoodies for $25 and stickers for $0.50. In the coming months, Driggy is going to be releasing skateboard apparel. All of these products have the trademark Driggy logo on them.
Cahill is advertising through his Instagram page, @dilloncahill. He posts about promotions, new products and general news related to his brand.
Cahill’s products come from a printing company in San Francisco, California that his step-dad is apart of. The company makes tattoo shirts and other similar items in the apparel industry. Driggy is solely owned and operated by Dillon Cahill himself.
Sophomore, Mario Machado, owner of the clothing line m.eme, started his business out of admiration for his father. Machado’s dad has been his main motivator throughout his entire life. Since Machado was little, his father has pushed him to try many new things that Machado loves doing today.
Sophomore, Ethan Witt who was Machado’s former business partner and current best friend is also a positive force behind this budding company.
“The business could have definitely been a success however, I think that we started it a little bit too soon,” Witt said. “I also wish that we had gotten a bigger crowd before we started selling.”
M.eme actually started out as an inside joke. Machado and Witt had a meme page on instagram, @m.eme.ario, when one day they decided to divide it in half, which just left m.eme. Later, the two friends were at the mall, where they found a Doc McStuffins lunch box and re-decorated one side completely with the original m.eme design.
Machado said that is where it all started. The boys then put their lunchbox design on a white t-shirt and had a trial run during the month of March 2017. This lasted a week and a half, and their product completely sold out during that time.
Machado is advertising through Instagram, @mariomachado, and he also has another m.eme page coming soon.
M.eme’s products include: t-shirts and longsleeves for $10-$15, shorts and sweatpants for $20, hoodies for $25-$30 and hats and beanies for $5. Machado said that new products are coming in very soon, possibly a throwback item from the business’ beginning.
“Lookout for the next batch, it’s going to be rad,” Machado said.
M.eme products are currently made by the company On the Go Prints which is a local commercial printer in Dayton, Ohio. Machado and his father are still experimenting with different companies to see which one is the best fit for their brand.
M.eme is run by Machado, however his father, being his main motivator, is one of the driving forces behind it. Machado soon hopes to take the business into his own hands completely.
“At the moment, I just want this to be a side endeavor; however, I may decide to transition it into my main focus,” Machado said.
Although the business started out as a co-operation, it quickly turned solo. Machado’s former business partner, Witt, left the business for a number of reasons.
“I thought that we were running out of designs, and that no one was going to pay $10 for another t-shirt,” Witt said.
Machado and Witt are still very close friends, the leaving of Witt did not have a negative effect on the company either.
“He just wasn’t in it as much as I was,” Machado said.
Matthew Hughes, Fairmont business teacher, said that many students are unable to make and maintain a business on their own while still in high school. He does not have any students in his business classes that run their own businesses.
“I commend students who decide to take the huge step to start their own business,” Hughes said.
Hughes also said that he would love to help any students out concerning the business process and all the planning that goes along with it. From the very few selection of students that come and ask for his help, most are interested in clothing and apparel, such as m.eme and Driggy.
Both business owners have confirmed that there is no tension between one another’s company. While they do consider each other competition and they are operating on the same turf, they are still friends and even interact as though they are business partners in some aspects.
Both businesses are only doing favors for the City of Kettering’s economy, as both students said that there is a great chance of either one of them entering the business workforce when they grow up. Shopping local has become a very popular thing in recent years, and the more entrepreneurs that Kettering can breed, the better.
“I respect and acknowledge Driggy as an operating company within the same sphere of influence that I, the owner of m.eme, operate in,” Machado said.
The prices are affordable for the quality of the product, and it is extremely local as both students live in Kettering. Overall, m.eme and Driggy are two respectable, similar businesses who are making a name for themselves in their early stages of operation.
“Mario and I will continue to be friends, despite our competing businesses,” Cahill said.