Wharton junior Jason Israel is not only planning on wearing a Hey Day T-shirt this year — he is co-owner of the company that produced the T-shirts that juniors will be sporting Friday, April 23.
The company that made the T-shirts, Fresh Prints, is a completely a student-run business that operates at Penn, Vanderbilt University, Emory University and the University of Delaware, among others.
Fresh Prints also created many of the Spring Fling T-shirts for student organizations, including most sororities and several fraternities.
Israel became involved with the company, which was initially started by his best friend at Washington University in St. Louis, because he wanted to “get the practical, real world experience” needed to run a business.
“Fresh Prints is pretty much a test-run at college for the career I’d like to pursue when I graduate,” Israel said.
He emphasized that working with Fresh Prints was a great opportunity to both make some extra spending money and add work experience to a resume.
“My experience from running this business definitely helped me get my summer internship this year,” Israel said.
Fresh Prints’ goal is to reach every corner of campus, according to Fresh Prints Penn Campus Manager David Portnoy, a Wharton junior.
“At the beginning we worked a ton to try and just get the company name out there, but now that we’ve done nearly 100 orders at Penn alone, it’s amazing how word-of-mouth spreads,” Portnoy wrote in an e-mail.
Word-of-mouth and personal references are Fresh Prints’ principal forms of advertising.
“We haven’t tried to mass advertise,” Israel said. “We want people to order from us either because our salespeople have spoken directly to them, or because people have heard good things about us.”
While Fresh Prints created a gallery of the T-shirt prints being used for Spring Fling on Facebook before the actual event, Alpha Phi Marketing Director and College junior Ashley Dreyfus did not mind that the prints had been “leaked” early.
“We got people coming to us before Fling saying that they really loved the tank tops and couldn’t wait to see us wearing them,” Dreyfus said. “It ended up being a positive thing.”
Dreyfus added that she always used Fresh Prints to order T-shirts because they made everything “seamless and easy.”
“I’d rather work with someone at Penn, who’ll let me critique every detail and has a vested interest in how the T-shirts turn out,” Dreyfus said.
According to Israel, Fresh Prints’ service is very personal, which is what makes them different from other T-shirt companies.
“When you order with us, you know that I care because my reputation is at stake,” he said. “It’s not just about creating T-shirts, but about students trying to help other students out and build positive relations with our customers.”
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