While most students bring their clothes and belongings with them to college, business freshman Ronnie Edwards and biochemistry freshman Will Barbrow brought a little something extra — their clothing line. Edwards and Barbrow helped create Perago Clothing this summer and have sparked interest among students by building a strong social media presence.
According to Edwards, the idea for a clothing line came after a number of attempted projects with a group of high school friends, including Barbrow.
“There’s a group of us that tried tons of group projects,” Edwards said. “We tried to be rappers; we used to make beats. We’ve been doing this kind of stuff since ninth grade. My brother went to UNT his freshman year and came back with the idea. He said, ‘We all can dress. I think this is what we were supposed to be doing all along — this clothing line.’”
With his brother’s idea in mind, Edwards began designing Perago’s first T-shirt with Barbrow and four other team members. Although they only have one shirt design, Barbrow said the small company has had some success.
According to Edwards, a large part of the company’s success resulted from a thorough social media campaign on both Twitter and Instagram. In one of their two shipments, they were able to sell 80 shirts in four days in their hometown of Killeen. Currently, Perago only takes orders through Twitter and Instagram but plans to launch an online store next month.
“There’s a lot of interest in it,” Barbrow said. “A lot of it is from our hometown, and a lot of it is from right here at UT.”
The line is being established at three universities. Edwards’ brother has been marketing it at the University of North Texas, another partner has been marketing it at Texas State, and Edwards and Barbrow have focused on marketing it at UT. Barbrow said UT has been a great place to market the line.
“UT is pretty much the perfect breeding ground to get your name out there,” Barbrow said.
According to Edwards, students have shown interest in both wearing the line and helping out with the company. After discovering Perago on Twitter, aerospace engineering freshman Charlie Folger helped Edwards and Barbrow with packaging and promoted the company on his own Twitter page.
“When I first heard about Perago, I thought, ‘Wow! This sounds like something I want to be involved with and help out with.’” Folger said. “Ever since then I’ve been helping. We’ve all worked together to promote this new clothing line. We helped package it and are trying to get it well known on campus.”
For Edwards and Barbrow, Perago has become something more than a way to make money. Edwards said Perago has become more of a movement and a concept than a clothing line.
“We’ve definitely learned by this point that it is not about the money,” Edwards said. “All the money that you make is going straight back into the shirts. We want to bring longevity to [the clothing line]. We want people to connect with it.”
Edwards, Barbrow and their team chose the name “Perago” for a reason. “Perago” is a Latin word meaning “to conquer, finish and complete.” Edwards and Barbrow have also turned “Perago” into the acronym “pursuing excellence requires ambition, goals and opportunities.” Barbrow said these two meanings convey the way they want to reach their customers.
“I think our goal is to get an idea across,” Barbrow said. “We want it to be about inspiring and helping others to go out and get personal fulfillment. It is not about the money at all.”