Hayden Lacy (left) and Ryan Harrison (right) founded The Collegeville Clothing Company while students at Saint John's University
Anyone who's been to college can probably relate to the feeling of stressing about finances or simply wanting more money. When Saint John’s senior defenseman Hayden Lacy (Saint John's Class of '20) needed extra funds, he didn’t look for another on-campus job or a loan from his parents.
He started his own business.
At first, Lacy tried selling quesadillas out of his dorm room. He made some profits but felt that he could do better.
“I saw our lacrosse manager – Luke Harmon (Saint John's Class of ’19) – selling t-shirts and was intrigued," said Lacy. "I asked if I could join up with him so we could create a real business."
Lacy partnered up with Harmon and decided to try to expand their business with the help of the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship, a Saint John's on-campus entrepreneurship education resource that provides classes, coaching, and assistance to students. Their experience with the program provided more knowledge and guidance than they could have imagined.
“We joined the E-Scholars Program through the McNeely Center and met other student-entrepreneurs from across the country,” remembered Lacy. “One thing I learned was how important it is to pick the right people to go into business with.”
Over the following years, Lacy led a group of students selling t-shirts and sweatshirts for Saint John's football games and other campus activities. Lacy earned a reputation for providing fun clothing options for students and alums.
While preparing for graduation, Lacy also wanted to be certain that his company would continue to thrive long after he leaves. That’s why he was excited when his fellow teammate Ryan Harrison (Saint John's Class of ’22) approached him last year.
“I saw what Hayden was doing with his company so after practice one day I asked him about it," Harrison recalled. "From that point on, we started working closely together."
Lacy was excited to have a new partner and business has been great since they teamed up. They optimized many aspects of operations and even re-named the business – The Collegeville Clothing Company. Next year, Harrison will take over leadership of the company.
“I was pumped when Hayden asked me to take the company over after he graduates,” Harrison said. “I have some new ideas that I’m excited to try.”
Lacy, who will start a new job in the energy sector, still plans on checking in next year with Harrison from time-to-time.
“My focus for the next couple of years is to learn as much as I can about renewable energy," Lacy said. "Not only is it fascinating, there are a ton of opportunities to use my entrepreneurial skills to make a positive impact on the world. My experiences at Saint John's has set me up for so much success. I got to run a company with actual revenue and lean on my peers and professors whenever I needed it”.
You can learn more about The Collegeville Clothing Company on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat