Tapping In With Business - Week 8 (The Happy Camp3r – Stephanie Devli)
This week on Tapping in with Business we want to introduce a very special college company that not only designs trendy clothes, but also donates all proceeds to an amazing foundation. Stephanie Devli is a Psychology major at NYU and decided to design trendy tie-dye clothing in mid-June, with all of her proceeds being donated to the National Alliance of Mental Illnesses. Combining her passion for Psychology with her family's niche for designing, The Happy Camp3r has already grown an impressive following of 600 people. Check out her work for comfy clothing while donating to an amazing cause at https://thehappycamp3r.com/ or on Instagram @thehappycamp3r!
1. Provide a general overview of the business / what is it all about?
The Happy Camp3r is a non-profit fashion brand donating proceeds to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), an organization that betters the lives of individuals fighting mental illness and their families. I hand-make unisex bleached and tie-dye clothing, mostly loungewear, for babies all the way to adults. I’ve always found tie-dying to be a fun activity so that’s really all it is for me – and the best part is, the profits are going towards a great cause.
2. What made you want to start a business?
Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted to design either clothing or accessories – my father designs handbags so I really just grew up with the idea that I would be going to school for design. However, I grew a passion for psychology and realized that psychology is what I wanted to study; I found it really intriguing to learn about the brain and how it works. So, I thought it would be cool to create a brand where I’m able to design clothing but also implement mental health into it.
3. How has it been balancing a business and college life?
It’s been pretty hectic, honestly. Even though it’s summer and I started the company only about a month ago, I have been taking summer classes all along, so I have a pretty heavy load. I’m also doing a remote internship at another non-profit, so I’ve been super busy. But of course, these are good things and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
4. What has been your biggest challenge?
There have been many obstacles that I have faced while starting The Happy Camp3r. In the beginning particularly when I was tie dying, I would mess up a lot and have to start over from the beginning. Sometimes I wouldn’t have the same size in stock and I would need to order it again because I originally messed up the colors or it just didn’t come out as good.
5. What has been the most fun part of owning this business?
The best part about owning this business is that I’m able to contribute to such a great cause along with everyone who has been supporting me. Mental health is something that is becoming increasingly important, especially in today’s society. I think mental health is still stigmatized in many cultures and that needs to change. Mental illness is no different than physical illness – we never associate shame with physical illness so there’s no reason to associate it with mental illness. Anyways, I really enjoy giving my time and dedication to such an amazing cause!
6. What is your advice to college students who want to start a business?
My advice to college students who want to start a business is to definitely get your foot in the door. No matter what your idea is, brainstorm, get it on paper, and trust me you’ll thank yourself later. You’ll probably begin with lots of doubts and worries, you might even fail during your first few tries, but trust me it’s worth it. Life is about taking risks. You don’t want to look back 30 years from now in regret because you didn’t do it.
7. What made you choose NAMI to send all of your proceeds to?
I actually spent a lot of time researching different organizations in order to choose which to associate my brand with. At first, I thought it would be great to donate to a children’s mental health organization since my minor is Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies and since I do want to become a clinical psychologist for children in the future. However, because mental illness can affect anyone at any time throughout life, I thought that donating to an organization like NAMI, which focuses not only on children but on people of all ages would make better sense.