Custom made

Senior designs clothing and accessories to sell to others

Senior+Olivia+Peterson+poses+in+a+sweatshirt+that+she+designed+and+made+herself.+This+picture+also+appears+on+her+Instagram+account%2C+where+she+advertises+her+custom+designs+to+others.+%E2%80%9CNebraska+related+shirts+are+probably+my+most+popular+request%2C%E2%80%9D+Peterson+said.+%E2%80%9CI+think+those+shirts+have+been+successful+just+because+they+are+much+cheaper+than+what+you+would+find+in+a+Husker+store%2C+but+they+are+still+high+quality.+I+can+print+just+about+anything+as+long+as+it%27s+not+a+school+affiliated+logo+that+has+copyright.%E2%80%9D

Photo courtesy of @designs.by.op

Senior Olivia Peterson poses in a sweatshirt that she designed and made herself. This picture also appears on her Instagram account, where she advertises her custom designs to others. “Nebraska related shirts are probably my most popular request,” Peterson said. “I think those shirts have been successful just because they are much cheaper than what you would find in a Husker store, but they are still high quality. I can print just about anything as long as it’s not a school affiliated logo that has copyright.”

Dana Summers, News Director

From working at a restaurant to babysitting, many high school students find ways to make money for themselves. Senior Olivia Peterson, on the other hand, has found a more unique way to earn some extra cash.

It all started the summer before her senior year when Olivia was first introduced to a piece of machinery called a Cricut Maker. After hooking it up to her computer, this device allows Olivia to print out any design that she creates onto clothing or other materials.

“When I came across the Cricut, I immediately showed it to Olivia,” Olivia’s father Chris Peterson said. “She has always been a very artistic girl, and I knew that this machine would be a good way to put her creativity to use.”

The Cricket Maker costs around $250, but making this purchase was a risk that Olivia decided to take. 

“I just had to hope that buying the machine and supplies would be a good investment,” Olivia said. “Thankfully, it was. After only a couple months of selling clothes, I had paid off the expenses of the Cricut and began making my own profit.”

Along with buying machinery, Olivia also has to purchase extra materials and the items in which she puts her design on.

“There have been a couple of orders for mugs and water bottles, but mostly it’s just clothes,” Olivia said. “In that case, I have to purchase heat transfer vinyl so that I can iron on the design after the machine cuts it out. As far as the clothing goes, I use a brand called Comfort Colors because it has been the best material in my experience. I’m able to order a bunch of items in bulk for the wholesale price which is really nice.”

In the early stages of her business, Olivia created the Instagram account @designs.by.op to show the designs that she has created. However, she believes that the best advertisement comes from customers wearing her products.

“I heard about Olivia’s business through a friend that bought a Husker shirt from her,” senior Jayda VanAckeren said. “I ordered a sweatshirt for myself just by messaging her with a description of what I wanted. It was finished the next day, and I was very pleased with the results.”

For pricing, Olivia tries to have a flat rate of $15 for t-shirts and $25 for hoodies. However, some of her items vary in price due to design size or shipping cost.

“My most popular shipping location is Lincoln,” Olivia said. “A lot of girls down there like to buy Husker shirts for game days. I suspect that I’ll be getting more orders from there now that football is starting back up.”

Although the money she has made from her business is an obvious benefit, Olivia has also gained valuable skills that she plans to use later in life.

“It’s definitely taught me a lot about time management,” Olivia said. “It has also helped me realize more about myself. Although I love selling to others, I have learned that the business aspect of it all is not my favorite part. I’m more in it for creativity.”

For now, Olivia plans to keep her business moving in the same direction. Making these custom designs has provided her with extra money, valuable skills and a unique creative outlet.