June 9 – Travis Jensen goes to school at Bethel University, but he’s still making an impact in the local community.
The corporate marketing and communications student launched Travco Christian Streetwear last August from his dorm.
“I sell Christian products including hoodies, t-shirts, crew necks, long sleeves – I’m also looking to get more into sportswear,” he said.
In doing so, his goal is to spread the message of Jesus Christ.
“Before launching my clothing brand, I noticed a lot of secularism, darkness in the world,” he said. “I’ve noticed it’s really skyrocketing, especially over the last two years.”
So he wanted to bring Jesus back into the world by designing “simple, straight to the point” clothes that could inspire others to draw closer to God.
Currently, Jensen is the only employee, and after ordering blank clothes, he will iron them.
“I do everything from pressing the shirts to shipping the shirts,” he said. “I do every base, the design of the website, the designs themselves, everything.”
Running his own business taught him how people work, especially what inspires and motivates them. He also admitted how being kind has a “huge” impact on sales and the spread of a brand name.
He also learned the importance of understanding his customers.
“My niche is, say, 15 to 35 year olds, so you go for neutral colors, simple patterns,” he said. “Really understanding what your niche wants has a huge impact on growth.”
He admitted that on the production side of the company there had been problems with the development of strong presses.
“When you’re dealing with ink, you do a lot of damage,” he said. “You press the wrong thing, like you’re doing the wrong side, the wrong logo on something, the list goes on and on.”
He admitted he was learning new ways to grow the business, which he estimates works anywhere from 90 minutes to six to seven hours a day.
“I spent countless hours every day working on growing a business and finding ways to expand myself, so it was really fun,” he said. “It’s my greatest passion. I spend hours [each day] working on this business and growing it, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Since the end of the semester, Jensen has moved his operation to the basement of his home in Albert Lea, though he plans to move it to Bethel when he returns for his senior year. After graduating, he said he didn’t know where it would go, but he wanted to keep expanding it.
“I would really like to develop it and expand it, God willing,” he said.
Jensen admitted he was surprised by the local support.
“I was blown away by the support I got from people and the number of repeat customers I got,” he said. “It was great.”
Jensen’s next goal is to bring his clothes to the rest of the country, and he recently received his first international order, which he described as a “big step.”
“I’ve sold in Canada, and I’m currently in the process of selling one in the UK as well,” he said.
Travco Christian clothing can be purchased at Man Between the Lakes.
“I was walking around the store one day and really liked the vibe,” he said. “I really liked the neutral colors and the atmosphere was really cool.”
So, in January, he approached the cashier and asked if he could sell his clothes.
He also sells at Seedlings Gifts & Books in Chanhassen.
His articles are available online at https://travco.shop.