UT students launch shirt company for student organizations


Guillermo Hernandez

University of Texas students James Scott Tucker, Sunny Das and Zachary Cook founded Texas Custom Apparel, a company that makes custom t-shirts for student organizations.

Luqman Adeniyi

Three UT students have created a new start-up company to provide custom design apparel to students and local businesses.

Texas Custom Apparel was an answer to a problem, said finance senior Sunny Das, who is also a Student Government McCombs Representative on the Finance Committee.

When appropriating funds to different student organizations, as a part of the committee, Das said he saw no continuity in pricing with the different vendors for shirts. Now as co-founder and CEO of Texas Custom Apparel, Das hopes his company can become the go-to vendor for student organization.

“Companies charge a lot for something that could cost a lot less and be done in less time.” said Das.

Das said the company provides shirts at a faster pace than most. Some orders can arrive the next day. The quick turnaround is a result of Texas Custom Apparel collaborating only with US companies, most of them being in Austin or Texas.

Alpha Chi Omega member and business sophomore Montana Bruhl, who used the service, said the her organization got the shirts in a much faster manner than usual. 

“It would usually take months for shirts to come in with our large orders, but with them, it was very timely and very professional,” Bruhl said.

Bruhl said the customer service and low price for custom shirts is what stood out to her and is why she would recommend Texas Custom Apparel to other student groups.   

Das is not alone in the start-up. His co-founders are petroleum engineering junior James Scott Tucker and management information systems senior Zachary Cook who serve as Texas Custom Apparel‘s president and chief technology officer, respectively. The company also employs two designers with whom customers can meet to discuss design details face-to-face.

Tucker said running the company while being a student is not easy, especially with the 18-hour schedule he will have in the fall. But, he said, it is worth it.

“It’s my baby and I will to go to the office after class and get to the shirts,” Tucker said.

Right now, the company is working out of the Incubator, a space provided for student start-ups on the seventh floor of the UT Administration building, said Cook. The space is provided by Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency.

Grant Heimer, Director of the LEA and finance senior, said college is the best time to start a business while a student’s network is growing. He expects more start-ups similar to Texas Custom Apparel to develop.

“Considering that UT-Austin has some of the brightest students in the country and that the city of Austin is a top-tier, national startup hub, it makes perfect sense to expect a growing entrepreneurial culture on our campus,” Heimer said.

Das said some of the goals for the company include creating long-term contracts with different organizations, expanding their line past shirts and tanks to more apparel, including fanny packs, and receiving brand rights from UT.

The website to make orders and request different design details will be up and running by August 1, said Cook. People currently make orders by contacting the company.

Tucker said the company wants to eventually offer its services to other Texas schools.

Follow Luqman Adeniyi on Twitter @StopnLuqman