Shirts designed by students for students (and parents and faculty) as MVPSpirit iProject generates a spirit craze. Order yours before THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 at 5:00 p.m.
At the beginning of the school year, Upper School students are asked to select their “iProject” — a passion project of choice intended to somehow better the world and make an impact. Some students choose to do this independently, while others group up to to work toward their goal. On the day of final selection this year, seniors John Traurig (JT) and John Slade (Slade) looked at each other and thought it might be a good idea to design a school t-shirt to sell. Maybe.
Eventually, they brought in another senior, Peyton Evertsen, and juniors Sarah Traurig and Gabby Thompson to collaborate on the project. As they began concepting, Slade – just in his second year at Mount Vernon – mentioned he didn’t have very many spirit shirts to wear. Keeping in mind each week of the year has a specific theme for athletic home games, they wanted to do something a little different from the typically popular whiteout, blackout and neon nights. Also, they realized the more text on a shirt, the more expensive. As a group, they determined they would design and produce a very simple tie-dye design for a tie-dye out.
Pictured L-R: John Slade, Peyton Evertsen, Sarah Traurig, and John Traurig (not pictured: Gabby Thompson).
To select the design and the colors, the students consulted the School’s Brand & Style Guide, and landed on the stacked MV logo and a combination of navy and cyan for the tie-dye colors. Once designed, they sent a pre-order form to all Upper School students, so they could front-end the order, since they were paying upfront, out of pocket.
Within two weeks, Sarah and Gabby — who were in charge of production — tie-dyed over 130 shirts in the Traurig’s back yard.
That next week, the pre-ordered and surplus shirts were sold out to US students and a few faculty members upon delivery — just in time for senior night at the Varsity football team’s last home game which sealed their season with a win, sending them to the playoffs.
As students and faculty crossed campus that day, the shirts caught the eyes of Lower and Middle School parents/students.
JT shares, “I was happy when we broke even – everything else was just a bonus. I had no idea it would turn into this phenomenon.”
Eventually, a staff member asked JT if he and his team would consider going through another round of production and open up the sales to the entire Mount Vernon community. JT and Slade immediately said they would and began to work on the timeline.
As soon as the pre-order form was sent out, over 80 shirts were ordered within the hour. If you haven’t already, order yours today!
How do they feel about the sale surge? Slade shares, I am so excited and anxious about it! I’m surprised that we actually made something that people are asking for.”
Sarah says, “I was a little nervous when we were making them, because I hadn’t really done tie-dye before. It’s such a simple design .”
Naturally, each individual gravitated to a specific role within the group. While JT and Slade spearheaded the project as leaders, Peyton Evertson managed product promotion and Gabby and Sarah took charge of production.
JT comments, “The best part is seeing students and teachers wearing the shirts way after our tie-dye out. I guess people really like them.”
When asked what they will do with the money they make on the shirts, they unanimously said, “reinvest it!”
The MVPSpirit team will design another shirt for the Winter sports season, in time for Basketball’s NEON NIGHT on Tuesday, January 24 when the Varsity teams play Galloway.