The fall of 2015 was an exciting time for sophomore Spencer Shaheen and his sister Berkeley, (’13). The Rochester, Michigan natives launched their very own clothing company, American Oxford.
The idea sprung when they were scrolling through Instagram pages of some of their favorite brands and realized there was a problem.
“We were tired of paying astronomical amounts of money [on outfits] that were catered to the coastal lifestyle,” said Spencer Shaheen. “We live a very mid-western lifestyle and wanted to start something that would cater to the midwest.”
That’s when they decided that they were going to sell high-quality, American-made, affordable clothing that focused on a Midwestern “lake life” lifestyle. But American Oxford didn’t arrive without obstacles.
“At first we knew nothing about the industry, and that took some time to figure out the steps we needed to take to get American Oxford going,” said Spencer.
With more knowledge under their belts, the siblings found seamstresses and fabrics and got all the licenses needed to start producing the clothes. Their next task was to tackle the public relations aspect.
With the target audience being college and postgraduate students, American Oxford incorporated dozens of campus ambassadors whose job it was to be the representatives of the company on several campuses around the Midwest. They also focused heavily on social media as a marketing tool, creating Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.
In the beginning, the company only offered men’s shorts. Once the startup settled down, American Oxford expanded its clothing options to men’s and women’s, long and short-sleeved pocket t-shirts, women’s shorts and dresses, as well as hats, tote bags and belts. Since both Spencer and Berkeley are part of the Greek community, they thought it only made sense to add a fraternity and sorority collection.
The next product they will be adding to their list is American Oxford pants. Be sure to check out their work at americanoxford2015.com.
Photo via American Oxford