AROUND TOWN: Brett Spelker

May 12th, 2015 at 2:00am

They say that starting your own business in college is one of the most invaluable experiences you could ever have, and Brett Spelker did exactly that.

Name: Brett Spelker

Role: Founder at Bahama Llama Clothing L.P.

CollegeFashionista: What inspired you to start Bahama Llama?

Brett Spelker: I’ve always had the desire to start my own business, but had no direction or passion that I felt could drive me towards a successful startup. A year or two ago, I was amazed by what a student named Pierson Krass was doing at Lehigh. He started a clothing line that combined prep style with the comfort of athletic shorts. This served as part of my inspiration to found Bahama Llama.

CF: What was the process of starting your own line like?

BS: It was quite the process. I spent my summer working a full-time summer job. When the time came to legitimize Bahama Llama, I knew that I needed more capital in order to hit the ground running. I decided to reach out to my brother and some close friends, one being Elon’s very own Michael Montane, with this investment opportunity. In late august, Bahama Llama was founded as Bahama Llama Clothing L.P. (Limited Partnership). The website went live in December, and we are continuing to learn and improve as a team.

CF: How would you describe the signature style of Bahama Llama?

BS: I design all the shirts for Bahama Llama myself, working off of feedback from the other partners. Bahama Llama shirts are sized similarly to slim fit, but with shoulder/chest dimensions that satisfy the classic fit. The fabric we use is a sand-washed, wrinkle-resistant oxford cloth that breathes in the heat as much as it warms in the cold. If you’ve seen our shirts around campus, you will notice that we pay attention to detail with our products. The contrasting trim on the inside of the cuffs and collar is what gives Bahama Llama our signature look.

CF: What current designers have influenced your personal style?

BS: Growing up in the northeast, prep clothing has had an influence on all the partners of Bahama Llama. Our clothes are similar to brands like Vineyard Vines in terms of style, and J.Crew in terms of fit. The idea for the different colored trim came to me when I was shopping in Madrid, Spain last winter and happened upon a line of shirts and sweaters I liked.

CF: How has developing this line aided your undergraduate work as a business major?

BS: Although the time and effort that running Bahama Llama requires has hindered my GPA this year, it has taught me more than many of the classes I take here can. I believe that developing this line will not necessarily help me work towards an undergraduate business degree, but rather earning my BSBA degree will help me develop Bahama Llama Clothing L.P.

Learn More: Fall in love with Brett’s affordable shirts for yourself from his website, or like his page on Facebook!