What bigger hassle exists than waking up to questionable gameday weather or rummaging around for a decent outfit in a pile of old t-shirts? Thanks to creative students like Ellie Rosen, the dilemma doesn’t have to be quite so daunting.
Rosen is a junior advertising major, but in her free time, she’s also a designer and the founder of SnipTeez. SnipTeez is a brand that specializes in custom Penn State shirts, flannels, and jackets. In fact, Rosen crafts and creates the designs all on her own. Her interest began freshman year when, like many Penn Staters, she’d craft simple t-shirt cutting designs for the weekend. However, unlike most of us, Rosen was really good at it.
“[A] braided-back halter neck was the first kind I tried out. I wore it to a tailgate and got tons of compliments on it and people [were]like ‘Oooooh can you make me one!!'” Rosen said. “And then it never ends up happening because people forget about it.”
Over time, Rosen began posting pictures in some of her creations — from her photos, she garnered quick interest in the designs. Various friends started to comment on the photos and ask Rosen to make designs for them. After one particularly popular post, Rosen finally decided to turn the endeavor into a business.
Since starting Snipteez, Rosen has done her best to keep prices low. She knows most college students stick to a strict budget for daily necessities.
“Because I’m one of many broke college students, I wanted to keep the pricing as reasonable as I could,” she said.
Inspiration for the designs stems from LF — a high-end boutique with locations in Soho, Miami, Los Angeles, Boston, and Dallas. But while Rosen draws artistic ideas from stores like this, she tries to keep Snipteez appealing to college students through both design and affordability.
“Why go spend $100+ on a vintage t-shirt when I can make something myself for less than $15?” Rosen said. “But of course, I’m an amateur at sewing myself so it only makes sense for me to charge others what I pay.”
At first, Rosen stuck to simple cuts and bleaching options. She charged $5 for the bleach and/or cut so long as the customer provided her with the shirt — otherwise, she simply added the cost of the shirt onto the $5. Over time, Rosen decided to branch out and start trying more difficult designs.
While the designs themselves are her own, she credits her father Jimmy for the brand name. Rosen admires his natural affinity for clever business strategy, and the two of them deliberated for nearly a day on the subject. When he suddenly mentioned ‘Snipteez,’ for Rosen, everything just clicked.
Rosen promotes her brand on Instagram and occasionally Facebook. She believes it’s the most effective way for her brand to reach its target audience — college students, of course. Over the years, friends and family have taken the initiative to promote the brand alongside her.
“I have people from other states messaging me saying they’ve heard about me from friends and other people that show off my stuff which is awesome!” Rosen said.
A post shared by SnipTeez By @elliepearlrosen (@snipteez) on
And while she doesn’t plan to pursue her passion for fashion post-graduation, she’s not opposed to keeping the brand running. For her, another important facet of SnipTeez is simply being able to express her creativity.
“If people ask me for something, I would be more than glad to make it!” Rosen said. “I wouldn’t necessarily keep up with it nearly as much as I am while in school, but I’ve always thought of it as a little side job to make some extra cash.”
If you’re interested in buying a custom creation yourself, you can check out the official Instagram page @snipteez.