Justin Raters ’19 Obvious Shirts – During the spring semester, I was presented with the great opportunity to work for a small business by the name of Obvious Shirts. Obvious Shirts is a t-shirt company that began as a hobby for founder and owner Joe Johnson, Wabash class of 2011, but has blossomed into a very popular and interesting brand. As a huge Chicago Cubs fan, Joe began to make shirts that had funny, sarcastic, and obvious sayings about Cubs players on them. Since then, the shirts have become licensed by the Major League Baseball Players Association, and are now dipping into other fanbases such as New York and Washington D.C. As a huge Cubs fan myself, I was ecstatic to work for such a fun company while getting to enjoy being in Chicago for the summer.
This position was very exciting for me because it was my first opportunity to work for a small business. It was great to see how much effort and work goes into running a small business, but also the many advantages there are as well. On a day to day basis, I would come into work and begin to collect the orders from the previous evening. I would then fill envelopes with t-shirts for each order and have them shipped to the customer. I was then given an email address that customers could reach out to with any problems or concerns they had about orders or navigating the website. I found that having this link between customer and staff was one of the most important pieces to making a small business run smoothly and be successful.
Being in the office and on the computer was not the only thing I did this summer, though. Early on in my internship, I was able to be a part of selling shirts at a weekend long sports memorabilia convention in Chicago. It was clear that not only selling online but selling shirts in person was a very important piece in spreading the brand name and engaging with customers. It was great to hear customers’ stories about the comments they get on their shirts, and their ideas for new shirt designs. Working the convention, though a bit more stressful, was one of my favorite parts of my internship.
Although my internship for the summer has ended, I will be continuing my work for Obvious Shirts by being a brand ambassador for the company. It is mine and Joe’s goal that Obvious Shirts will soon have a Wabash collection on the website, as well as the possibility of other colleges in Indiana. I am very grateful for this opportunity that was given to me by Joe Johnson ’11 and Roland Morin. This internship gave me the experience that I was looking for in a small business setting and provided me with a number of connections that I am sure to use in the future. I am very excited to have had of such a fun summer opportunity, and to continue my work with Obvious Shirts in the future!