We know you all LOVE tailgate clothes, and Kyra Diehl, Clemson University student and Founder and CEO of GameBaes, makes some of the best tailgate clothes. Check her out below and on Insta @gamebaesapparel:
What exactly is GameBaes?
GameBaes is a business for collegiate game day apparel for every college campus in America. We make customized shirts, skirts, sweatshirts, bodysuits, and other clothing items for every school’s team. What I love most about GameBaes is that we really try to give the customer exactly what they are looking for, and in a sense our customers can pretty much design their own clothing with whatever sayings and colors they want whether it’s to wear to a tailgate, an order for a sorority, or just to wear to class!
Where did you get the idea for GameBaes?
Because I grew up in San Diego, I have a lot of friends who go to schools like USC, SDSU, ASU, and other west coast schools. So when I was a Freshman, I got to see through their pictures how different what girls wore to tailgates and football games was compared to the boring orange dresses I was surrounded by here. Also, Clemson’s colors are orange and purple and I’m not sure many people know this but orange is a very hard color to find in most stores, so I found myself struggling every Saturday morning with figuring out what to wear. When I came home for summer I pitched the idea of making my own game day clothes to my mom, who is conveniently an entrepreneur with several ecommerce businesses of her own, and when she heard the idea she helped me set the business up and continues to help with product fulfillment.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Initially I got my inspiration from mostly what girls were wearing to games at USC. I loved the bodysuits and cheer skirts and knew for sure that I wanted to recreate something like that for Clemson. But recently game day style has exploded with new ideas for lace-up tees, college halters, and other fun ways to take a basic college t-shirt and turn it into whatever you want! I also loved coming up with ideas for what messages should be put on the shirts and bodysuits and took a lot of the sayings that we say at football games like “We Too Deep”, “All In”, and “Dabo 4 Prez” and put them on the shirts. It’s really been fun to see what messages are the most popular and it’ll be interesting to see what girls at other schools will want their shirts or bodysuits to say!
What is your favorite part of running GameBaes?
My favorite part of starting GameBaes was actually seeing my ideas come to life. When the designs went from being pictures on my bed to actual clothes I could wear, I was so excited to show everyone what I was working on. Since the business has launched, I think my favorite part has been going to tailgates on game day and seeing girls I’ve never met wearing my designs and the enthusiasm people have expressed to me over the company. There is something so surreal about watching your dreams turn into reality and at the age of 19, I find it absolutely crazy and amazing that I could have started something with so much potential.
What is the hardest part of running GameBaes?
The hardest part of running GameBaes is probably trying to manage my time between my classes and the business. With responding to emails from girls about the website, starting up the campus rep program, and creating new styles for girls to wear it’s hard to manage it all but I know that it’s worth it every game day when I see the girls wearing GameBaes!
Where do you go to school and what are you studying?
I go to Clemson University in South Carolina and am currently studying Psychology on the Pre-Med route. Coming from California, it has been a huge transition but I have loved every moment I’ve spent here and find myself sad whenever I have to get on the plane to go home. It is such a special place and I have met the most kind and compassionate people here, I honestly could never imagine being anywhere else.
How do you manage being a college student and running a business?
Without the enormous help from my mom all the way in California, the success of this business would absolutely not have been possible. With the rate that it has taken off at I single-handedly could not have dealt with it, so for that I can never repay my mother for all she has done. However, it is so amazing to get so much support from so many members of my university, and I am so passionate about GameBaes as a business that it makes all of the work worth it.
What was your business breakthrough moment?
The moment that I thought to myself, wow, this business could be a lot bigger than I ever imagined was probably the moment I first launched the website. It was the night before I left home to go back to Clemson for my sophomore year so I was hosting a going away party as the website was being launched. At the same time I was working on getting the website to go live, we were also having another photo shoot in our family room with a few of my friends, and seeing their initial reactions to the clothing line made me even more hopeful for what this business could become. I wanted to plan GameBaes going public as perfectly as possible, which can be difficult when you have to promote it on multiple social media platforms. But when I think back to the night I just remember the excitement and overwhelming emotions when we got our first orders within the hour of the website reveal. That was the moment when my mom and I looked at each other and realized this thing could actually be something huge.
If you were stranded on a deserted islands what three things would you have?
First, I would have my phone because it is with me at all times and I’m probably answering a text or email every other minute. Second, I would have my best friend and roommate Allison with me because she always knows how to keep me entertained or put me in a better mood. And finally, I would have an endless supply of chicken, peanut butter, and chocolate because as weird as those three things sound together they’re probably the foods I crave the most.
What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure would probably have to be online shopping. I sometimes sit in my classes and just add every single piece of clothing I think is cute into my cart and then see a subtotal of like a thousand dollars and just close my laptop. Especially when a new season starts I suddenly think to myself that I need an entire new wardrobe of sweaters for fall or bathing suits for summer but unfortunately, my bank account doesn’t agree with that so it’s definitely a difficult guilty pleasure to have.
What is your favorite part of fall?
Since moving to South Carolina, I definitely have a renewed appreciation for fall. In Southern California, the leaves don’t change color so when I saw even a hint of red or orange on a tree I freaked out. Also, I have suddenly realized that I am no different than every other basic girl on the planet and am obsessed with pumpkin everything. I literally had my mom send me a care package of pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bread, pumpkin candles, pumpkin coffee, and pumpkin popcorn so you could say I’ve gone a little overboard.
What are you most excited for?
Right now what I’m most excited for is seeing our campus rep program all come together and watch how the business will progress at other colleges. Starting it at a southern school like Clemson was a bold move because the game day style here has always been flowy dresses and cowgirl boots, so it’s been really encouraging to see how girls have loved our products so much and I’m hoping that at schools in places like California or Arizona it will be even more successful!