UMKC student Tanner Mueller has never made daydreaming look so good–with his fitness line, Alpha Clothing.
“One night at the gym, I was daydreaming and our logo popped into my head. That night, I got started on the plans for the company,” Mueller said.
Geared toward gym junkies and style-savvy men, Mueller has every intention of expanding his lifestyle clothing brand to women in the next few months. After three years at UMKC in pursuit of an entrepreneurship degree, Mueller has been able to break down his ability to make his ideas a reality and offer his journey as an example for anyone interested in starting a similar project.
For a generation in which the term “boss” is slowly losing its conviction, innovation is often mistaken for luck. A common misconception amongst entrepreneurs is that the fortune and success following an idea was somehow stumbled upon, while failing to take into account the grunt work involved.
“I started Alpha Clothing Co. with just $400 and my laptop,” Mueller said. “I opened up wholesale accounts with some apparel suppliers, teamed up with a local screen printing company and got to work.”
Since then, Mueller has drawn more than 5,000 likes on Alpha Clothing’s Facebook page and sold out of nearly every item on the brand’s website.
“I created a Facebook fan page, initiated relationships with affiliated fan pages and sponsored a team of athletes,” Mueller began. “These key steps are what initially drove traffic and sales, which gradually snowballed into where we are today.”
As a prime advocate for Alpha Clothing Co, Mueller seizes every opportunity to showcase the apparel himself.
“The fit and material are too nice. I can’t resist,” Mueller said.
With a sharp grip on the latest trends in men’s fashion, he explained the importance of creating an image through personal style.
“In the apparel industry–especially brands who sponsor athletes–image is everything,” he said. “Every company has a certain image which encompasses their ideas, philosophy, vision, morals, passions, et cetera.”
Mueller has utilized the tips and skills he has acquired from UMKC’s entrepreneurship program as a road guide to success.
“There is so much new information being brought to my attention every day,” Mueller said. “This gives me a huge advantage for my business and a big head start on any future ventures.”
As Alpha Clothing rapidly gains momentum, plans of expansion follow suit. The brand is already preparing for future products, including a performance-based dietary supplement, patented product container designs and a web-based Bitcoin platform. With a clear vision and an open mind, Mueller is writing his own ticket.
“We are all born into the same world,”: he said. “A world existing, a world built for us. There is a suppressed sense of freedom. Entrepreneurship provides a thrill of true freedom. It promotes innovation and exploration. It is truly a way for us to create our own world.”