Customization Meets Affordability At Student-Run ‘Frenemy Designs’


Penn State has no shortage of clothing startups run out of dorm rooms and apartments. “Frenemy Designs,” operated by sophomores Chloe Warner and Mary Griswold, is a newcomer to the market that’s already making a big splash.

Frenemy was created by Warner while she was abroad and looking for something to do with her newfound time during the coronavirus pandemic. Griswold, who is Warner’s roommate, is already coming in with designs for the brand after joining the team just a few weeks prior.

The brand was started at the beginning of January and has already gone from two to three orders per week in their first month to 10 to 15 orders per day.

Warner and Griswold credited much of their growth to their on-campus involvement. Griswold plays club soccer, where she holds leadership roles, and is a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Warner is in Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and is in the process of joining a business fraternity on campus.

“Us being involved in so many different communities has helped us grow a ton,” Griswold said. “We’ve reached out to different people and sent it in sorority group chats. It’s definitely helped us branch out.”

“I live my life by the quote, ‘Don’t let bad people stop you from being a good person,’ and I wanted to do something that would make me happy,” Warner explained.

The brand started as “Chloe Created” but soon changed its name to “Frenemy” because she felt it spoke to her and her confidence.

Warner said she started the brand to give Penn State students the opportunity to have more customizable and comfortable options, specifically for women.

The two said they hope to create a community through their clothing brand where women can feel comfortable, and they feel accomplished in this goal when they see their designs around campus.

“For us, our goal was to do customizable clothes that people can make to fit their own style, and make it unique to each person. People can customize to fit their needs,” Warner said.

Recently, their most popular clothes have been State Patty’s Day orders and the “daylong” hoodie.

“When I got back to campus, I felt like I needed more Penn State designs. So, I came up with the ‘daylong’ definition sweatshirt, because so many students can relate to that,” Warner said. “That’s, I think, what really took off for us.”

Although customization is a major focus, the pair is also centered on making their clothing affordable for college students living on a budget.

“We saw that there are a bunch of other businesses, like we’re running, that are selling at a much more increased price than we are,” Griswold said. “We’re all college students, we’re all on a budget. We’re not forking out $80 for a sweatshirt.”

Additionally, they said they want their clothes to make people feel like they’re wearing something that really represents themselves and something they’re happy to represent.

Frenemy Designs currently accepts orders through Instagram, but it’s launching a website at the end of March to start upping its increasing order fulfillment.

The duo’s goals for the future include increasing the brand’s social media presence and continuing its steady growth at Penn State.

“We are two college students that run this out of our apartment, so right now, we’re figuring out how to balance our school work and the business side of things,” Griswold said. “So, I think definitely just continuing to grow and have people at Penn State wear our clothes.”

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About the Author

Caitlin Burns

Caitlin is a senior majoring in english. She watches "Dance Moms" from the beginning three times a year and thinks she's a barista because she can make one drink from Starbucks. She can usually be found taking a nap or being unreasonably angry at small inconveniences. You can contact her at [email protected].

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