December 17, 2017

Senior Tessa Chan embraces creativity in school spirit

Kareena Dhillon

Online Features Editor

Mira Costa senior Tessa Chan has rallied in the Champion spirit by designing her own spirit-wear shirts for Costa.

Chan designs and sells spirit-wear shirts to students around Costa. She began making the shirts in early September. She was inspired to do so by her love for retro sportswear brands, Chan said. The shirts incorporate different brand logos including Fila and Champion, which are popular clothing brands that are sold in many stores  Urban Outfitters, PacSun and Macy’s.

“I just started making [the shirts] because I love computer design and fashion,” Chan said. “This was definitely the perfect opportunity to combine both.”

Chan’s merchandise consists of two different shirts, one black and the other gold. Both have the same green and gold logo that says “Costa.” The only difference lies in the color of the shirt. There is also a white “senior” shirt with a camouflage design, but while she gives these shirts to her friends, this design is not currently for sale.

“I think finding a creative side in high school is very important to a student’s future,” Chan said. “High school is meant for experimenting and finding your place, and finding a creative side is an important part of that process.”

Chan chose to use the Champion logo after realizing that “Costa” and the Champion logo would match perfectly for the design she wanted to create. She starts the process by budgeting the amount of material needed based on orders she has received and she then creates and distributes the shirts.

“I personally love the design of her shirts,” customer and Costa senior Isabelle Marsh said. “It combines the Champion font with Costa spirit showing originality. Everyone asks me about it when I wear it because of the creativity of spirit wear. It’s different than the simple stampede shirt everyone has.”

Chan has not yet looked in to the necessity of licensing agreements from the companies whose logos she incorporates into her designs. There is a possibility that her designs encroach the trademark laws and rights of the companies.

“I love her shirts and think that they represent her clothing style very well,” customer and Costa senior Rae Collier said. “I feel they give her a chance to show school spirit uniquely.”

Chan manages the independent business by order and does not make shirts ahead of time. After finishing the shirt, she delivers it to students or teacher at school. Chan has a multitude of customers to whom she sells her shirts. Her business is advertised through word of mouth and can be seen on many Costa seniors and juniors.

“I make the shirts to feel that satisfaction when I see someone wearing one, or if someone compliments mine and asks where I got it,” Chan said. “It is nice to be able to use my talents and passion to bring joy to others through my shirts.”

Chan currently creates the shirts by using iron-on transfer sheets and ironing on the ‘Costa’ logo to the shirts. However, in the future, she said she may screen print the logo onto the t-shirts. She plans to keep designing and selling t-shirts as a side business and does not plan on turning it into a career.

“[This process] has taught me organization and how to interact with potential costumers,” Chan said. “These are two valuable skills that are important in any and all career paths.”

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