Three teens stitch together t-shirt business

Dylan Oswick, left to right, Wade Edwin and Ryan Gonzalez of Energy Supply Clothing Co.
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Dylan Oswick, left to right, Wade Edwin and Ryan Gonzalez of Energy Supply Clothing Co.

A year after its inception, a clothing company continues to expand through the efforts of the three high school students who own it.

Ryan Gonzalez of Sayreville, Dylan Oswick of Old Bridge and Wade Edwin of Aberdeen are the owners of Energy Supply Clothing Co., which distributes original clothing designs from the students. All three are currently seniors at Saint John Vianney High School, Holmdel.

Since its inception, the three students said Energy Supply Clothing Co. has expanded from New Jersey to New York, California, Maryland, Illinois, Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Texas. Products have also been sold in Canada and Ireland.

The company has an online store at energy-supply-clothing-co.myshopify.com, in addition to a Facebook and Instagram page.

The business was founded by Ryan and Dylan in 2018 while they were juniors at Saint John Vianney.

“Both of us had always been interested in business,” they said. “We had seen kids on the show “Shark Tank” with their own startups, so we wanted to try and put together something of our own. Many ideas were tossed around at first. The lightbulb went off after Ryan won a t-shirt design contest at school.”

Wade joined the company as a third owner shortly after its founding.

“Wade had always been interested in starting a brand, but couldn’t do it alone, so it was a perfect fit,” Dylan and Ryan said.

The company began on a small scale with two designs. To share their content, Ryan, Dylan and Wade first looked to raise Energy Supply Clothing Co.’s social media presence through the Instagram account.

“All three of us did tons of research into the best possible ways to get our business started,” the owners said. “We were three self-taught, self-made high school entrepreneurs with little to no business experience. We relied on YouTube, social media/celebrity figures, and the internet as a whole to learn.

“We were literally selling shirts in Ziploc bags out of our high school lockers,” they continued. “We first served a local audience, selling shirts to anybody we could personally give them to (pretty much all friends and family). At the time, none of us could drive, which made things all the more difficult. We only had the shirts made when we had enough orders for them. This taught all three of us how to sell ourselves as a brand and get people on board.”

When the company launched, Ryan, Dylan and Wade had two original designs: the wave t-shirt and the pink flower t-shirt.

“This was super small,” the three said. “We only had the shirts made when we had enough orders for them. This taught all three of us how to sell ourselves as a brand and get people on board.”

According to the owners, the wave t-shirt was the first design that raised the prominence of Energy Supply Clothing Co. and remains one of the company’s top-selling shirts. With their business receiving attention from the wave t-shirt design, the three were able to sell enough wave and pink flower t-shirts to obtain the funds for launching an online store, which became operational in February.

With the launch of the website came more designs from Energy Supply Co., including the astro drip design.

“We worked on putting together the best content for the website for about a month,” the owners said. “The store launched with over 15 new products, one of them being our astro drip t-shirt and hoodie. The astro drip design is by far our most popular design to date, and it is what many people recognize us for.”

After creating the online store, the three looked to continue expanding their audience through Facebook and Instagram, with friends and family also helping share the products.

“The three of us did countless hours of research to learn how to advertise and grow our brand in any way possible,” they said. “We tried many strategies, some ending up better than others, but it was a learning process.”

In the spring, the company released more designs, including the sun flower crop top, which Ryan, Dylan and Wade said was their first popular women’s product. This was followed by their first official collection in July, entitled “Takeover”.

“There were many reasons for naming the collection this way,” the three said. “It was our first official collection. We also wanted to show people that this brand wasn’t a joke. We wanted people to know that Energy Supply Clothing was legit and for people to see what we were really capable of as a team. The collection got us a lot of attention from a new audience on social media.”

Along with their first official collection, a group order service was created for Energy Supply Clothing Co.

“With this service, we will create custom apparel or other products for your group, business, or event,” Ryan, Dylan and Wade said. “This could be great for businesses, weddings, Sweet 16s, etc. It is a service we are still looking to grow.”

The business would go on to have its first brand ambassador when the owners began to work with Cuda Cash, a YouTube influencer from Georgia.

“This was a tell-tale sign that the brand was truly beginning to take off and expand,” the owners said.

Most recently, Energy Supply Clothing Co. released the Worldwide miniseries, which will be a prelude to the upcoming fall collection.

“As of now, Energy Supply Clothing Co. has grown from being an idea between three best friends into a legit business that has reached a total of 10 states and three countries,” they said. “Energy has given the three of us so many amazing opportunities at such a young age. Since our launch, we have gotten the opportunity to network and collaborate with people in all fields throughout the country and the rest of the world. We have each gained knowledge and experience of the business world and gotten a taste of what it is like running our own company.

“Although we have faced much adversity, criticism and doubt due to our age and the idea of three high schoolers owning a business, we continue to put our hearts into what we do. We want to see Energy evolve into everything we imagined it could be. We want to inspire people of all ages to take on their passions and to not give up on something they believe in.”