ParaBrands uses startup win to expand vision

The company looks to move forward in its next phase with new clothes and charity work.

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ParaBrands uses startup win to expand vision

Photo by Aaron Zhang/ THE CHIMES

Photo by Aaron Zhang/ THE CHIMES

Photo by Aaron Zhang/ THE CHIMES

Jacob Allen, Freelance Writer

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(This story was originally published in print on Mar. 28, 2019).

From the time ParaBrands co-founder and sophomore business administration major Nick Rumer was a child, one of his biggest dreams was to own his own business. Now, with ParaBrands taking first place at the Biola Startup Competition, Rumer appears well on his way to fulfilling that dream. As the company moves forward, its employees look to use their success to move past the competition and grow as a brand.

STARTING THE GRIND

In the beginning stages, co-founder and sophomore cinema and media arts major Victor Miller was quickly jumped on Rumer’s business idea because he has always wanted to design shirts. The startup competition was not their main goal and they only entered well after founding the company.

“It was a coincidence,” Rumer said.

They saw the contest as a way to keep themselves on track, with the money being the last thing they expected. What started with monthly meetings turned to weekly and then, as the final round neared, daily. The grind took a toll on the already-busy ParaBrands leadership.

“Personally, I wanted to give up. Many of us wanted to give up [on the competition],” said ParaBrands chief financial advisor and freshman accounting major Clayton Owens.

The team put in over 100 hours of work to hit the contest deadlines, which included creating a 43-page business plan. In times of doubt, Rumer kept the team motivated, never showing any sign that they could not pull it off according to Owens.

“He was our leader,” Owens said. “He said, ‘We gotta do this, we can do this.’”

Now that the Startup Competition is over, Parabrands enters its next phase. The company will have three clothing lines within the overall brand, each planned for release a few years apart from each other. ParaDoxx will consist of streetwear, ParaDice will sell skate and surf apparel and ParaDime will be a prestigious clothing line.

ParaBrands plans to have a launch party by the end of April in Los Angeles. Their first line of clothing will drop the same day.

MAKING AN IMPACT

Aside from their clothing and sales, ParaBrands is also trying to make a social impact. The team will be starting a video series called “The People of Para” on their Instagram account.

“We pick a person that we believe has a story to tell and we interview them and talk to them about their story,” said sophomore journalism major Quinn Gorham, head of public relations at ParaBrands.

The plan is to release a shirt that has to do with each guest’s main point after every installment.

“This is our ministry,” Rumer said.

The company says its main goal is to be bigger than themselves by creating fashionable clothing with Christian themes implemented into them. They intentionally make their designs subtle to keep the brand mainstream but have enough influence where the clothes will make their customers think, according to Gorham.

Another way the company is working to make a difference is by donating 10 percent of its profits to Cross Connextion, a non-profit with the main goal of helping youth in Compton. Though plans are not solidified yet, the company is planning an event in Compton to kickstart the partnership.

Though the money from the Business Startup Competition helps, ParaBrand’s leadership insists that it did not change the company in any way. Their goal was to always be a fashion company that provided an outlet for peoples’ stories and a platform to share Christian themes and values.

“This movement is really bigger than ourselves and not just a way to make money,” Gorham said.