The Warrior

Students behind BlueBerryBoy clothing

BlueBerryBoy+logo+found+on+the+website+of+blueberryboy.net.
BlueBerryBoy logo found on the website of blueberryboy.net.

BlueBerryBoy logo found on the website of blueberryboy.net.

BlueBerryBoy logo found on the website of blueberryboy.net.

By David Montes, Reporter

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Lane may be known for its student diversity or its sports teams, though not everyone has heard about Lane’s more ambitious and entrepreneurial students. Young entrepreneurs have started small businesses and brands ranging from drone photography to clothing merchandise.   

 One group in particular took a doodle off a notepad and ran with it, creating t-shirts, sweaters and stickers featuring the character that they named BlueBerryBoy.

“We thought why not? Why not spread the message of BlueBerryBoy?” said Zachary Plumley, sporting the BlueBerryBoy brand. “It’s not what is BlueBerryBoy, it’s who.”

Plumley, Div. 857, co-created BlueBerryBoy and its mascot, Blueberry Boy, as an inside joke which grew into the small brand business seen today. The hope was that the brand would take off similar to the Supreme brand.

John Gitschlag, Div. 952, co-created the character and alongside Plumley ran sales and designs of the merchandise.

“There really isn’t a message behind the company,” Gitschlag said. “It’s really whatever you take out of it as a viewer.”

Right now, BlueBerryBoy brand clothes have 10 designs on shirts and sweaters.

Junlone Moy, Div. 857, was the original creator of BlueBerryBoy. He drew the doodle in Mr. Wilcox’s class around December 2017 for a comic strip project.

Plumley and Gitschlag also paid $12 for a domain, meaning they bought a website to market their product to host blueberryboy.net. To own the domain, they had to register the name, which usually costs $10 to $35 a year, according to an article on The Site Wizard.

They have also set up a social media profile as BlueBerryBoy on Instagram: blueberryboy.co.

“It’s a being,” Gitschlag said, giving his creation a personality. “BlueBerry is his own person, his own conscience.”

Other companies do this as well, where they use their mascot as a real person that interacts to with its audience.

Plumley and Gitschlag use the site and the Instagram page to advertise their character BlueBerryBoy, though their following has stagnated at 151 followers. Their main method of marketing then comes from the stickers they post around Chicago.

“We put up stickers all around the city in key areas with high traffic.” Gitschlag said. “We will never put stickers on private property or on anyone’s belongings. We mostly just stick to street corners and the like.”

As far as the actual sales of the products, the two use the site teespring.com to design and produce their clothes. Teespring allows for the duo to put their character on products like shirts, sweaters and cups.

According to Teespring’s community site, the user can choose the price of the product, but there is a base fee for different items. The service is free and the fee is paid when a sale is made.

“When we decide on a design, we scan all the pencil sketches,” Gitschlag said. “The designs [of the shirts] are all us.”

While he was the creator of the BlueBerryBoy, Moy has very little to do with the actual business.

“I get royalties,” Moy said. “But they’re in debt.”

Moy would get a small portion of the sales, but the company has not made as many sales as they would like.

The company is very small, so the debt they’ve accrued is minimal. Currently, they have made around $70 since its inception in 2017.

Plumley and Gitschlag wear their merchandise around Lane to garner attention for their brand. They have the site for a whole year and plans for new designs for the future of BlueBerryBoy.

“We got a lot of designs in the vault.” Plumley said. “We want to put out more shirts. It’s a BlueBerryBoy company.”

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Students behind BlueBerryBoy clothing