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In 2010, when Taylor Palmie and Tanner Barkin were juniors in high school, they took a chance. The two started a small screen-printing business out of Tanner’s garage, and they dreamed about being the next Burton or Vans. Screen-printing was a fun hobby, and Taylor notes, “We made things at this point because we wanted to; for us and not for anyone else, though it would be
The next year, Taylor and Tanner took another chance: they applied to what is now known as the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition. The pair didn’t win, but they learned important lessons about how to make their business, Alkaline Clothing, even better. When they applied again in 2012, Alkaline won top honors in the 16-21 age category, earning a cash prize and a pairing with Curt Richardson, Founder, Chairman, Chief Visionary Officer of Otterbox.
“The advice we received from Curt Richardson set the foundation for how we still run our business today,” says Taylor. Richardson helped Taylor and Tanner plan and scale their business in a healthy way. Over the next eight years, Alkaline Clothing became Moore, and what started out as a business with a $100 profit has now surpassed one million in lifetime sales. “We’ve gown slow and steady, which has allowed us to learn as we go and make changes as needed to without crashing from growing too fast. Patience, perseverance, and hard work is key.”
If you’re a youth business owner and you’re not sure whether or not to apply to Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars this year, take a chance and do it. According to Taylor, “Being a part of this competition is a win, even if you don’t ‘win.’ The encouragement from those around you will give you energy and excitement to grow your business to be as big as you want it to be.”
Young Americans Center is now accepting applications for the 2020 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition. Apply online by May 30.