ATHENS, Pa. (WETM) When Aaron Smith and Griffin Jacobson created 2020 Outlet, it was just a clothing line originally created by seniors for seniors.
“We were getting these pamphlets, as were a lot of other seniors, that were advertising these designs that different companies were marketing,” said Aaron, “and we felt that there just weren’t enough options for us and we didn’t like all the options that were being presented… we just wanted some more options.”
Using a vinyl cutter Griffin’s dad wasn’t using, Aaron and his friend Tivon Liguori, also a senior, starting creating designs for the Class of 2020 shirts.
“We just thought it would be a good idea to make shirts for our class,” said Griffin.
They create the designs with ink and Photoshop before putting through the vinyl cutter and then onto a heat press.
Their first designs had gas masks and graduation caps and they’ve added a “Senior Skip Day” and “Proud Parent” design.
Since the brand launched, the students realized there are other ways they can use their new company to help others.
“We want to move into helping out our healthcare heroes so we want to make shirts that say ‘Thank You Healthcare Workers’ and the superhero line to show that we are there,” said Griffin.
On May 19 Outlet 2020 will launch a Healthcare Heroes line where 20 percent of the sale goes to the American Nurses Foundation.
“We want to help the different groups affected by this. First off, Class of 2020. We’re not just helping us pay for college we’re helping artists across the country… I guess the purpose of it is to help different groups affected by everything that’s happening in 2020. Students, healthcare workers, everybody that’s in this.”
Once their Healthcare Heroes line is up and running, the company will look to help other groups affected by the virus.
“We’re talking about what’s next, who are we going to support next, what group is affected by this pandemic and we’re talking about possibly doing after healthcare hero is small business,” said Aaron. “As states start to reopen slowly, my dad owns a small business and we know how critical it is to be able to support those small businesses responsibly but also to help them get into the swing of things as well.”
The company is looking to promote more designs from seniors across the country, and they’ve received interest from as far as Los Angeles. They are accepting applications for student artists on the 2020 Outlet website.
After graduating from Athens Area High School (who announced they’d be doing an in-person graduation ceremony), Aaron will be attending Penn State Erie majoring in engineering with a minor in graphic design, and Griffin is still undecided.