Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi! My name is Ivanah Alexandre. I’m a senior in high school. Born and raised in New York. I play varsity tennis for my school and I love cooking especially the eating part. I am an only child which means I get a lot of time and space to let my creativity go wild. Growing up without siblings meant I had to entertain myself as much as possible. That’s how I was introduced to fashion. I remember when I was little, cutting up my Dad’s sweatpants into a dress and prancing around the house as if I was sporting the hottest trend. Expression through clothing has always been a passion of mine.
What exactly is Pimp My Tee?
Pimp My Tee is a clothing customization business. The concept is transforming something that is boring or tired into something bold and fun.
What inspired you to start Pimp My Tee?
I’ve always wanted to be a part of the fashion industry, but I expected my career to begin in the distant future. One day my mom was watching her favorite show “Shark Tank“. The show is simply about budding entrepreneurs trying to turn their dreams into a reality. The contestants of the show are usually middle aged or at least have already graduated college. However, in this episode the entrepreneur was only a senior in high school. She was already so successful academically, socially, with her brand and she wasn’t even out of high school yet. At that moment I realized I don’t have to wait to initiate something big; I can start on my dreams right now. The girl in that episode was Rachel Zietz, her business was Gladiator Lacrosse. I continue to laud her for success, and thank her for being such an empowering young woman.
How do you balance your business, friends and school?
Procrastination is NOT your friend. Starting a business taught me to manage my time a lot better. Obviously I’d rather be spending my time watching The Office instead of doing physics homework, but prioritizing is always a key component to success. My friends are motivation for me to get my work done because if I get everything done as soon as possible I get more time to hang out with them. It’s an extremely rewarding feeling when I get to enjoy a night out with my friends knowing I’ve completed all of my agenda.
Do you have specific styles or is everything custom?
I started off with four different styles but as my business grew, people would ask if I could do a variety of different styles. So I would research the style and learn how to do it. What’s wonderful about living in this technological era is that the internet can literally teach you ANYTHING, refashioning shirts is one of the copious things you can learn just from sitting behind a computer screen. So the possibilities are endless.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
What do you think makes you stand out? Why should someone pick Pimp My Tee over another similar brand?
What most people do in my [industry] is take clothing items from universities and customize them which is awesome because representing your university in a unique way is always fun. Everyone has a college t-shirt somewhere in their draw but what my industry does is add that flair that turns your everyday t-shirt into a fashion statement. What makes Pimp My Tee stand out is it takes your own clothing whether it be a college tee, or a sports tee, fundraiser, or group tee (possibilities are endless!) and customize it. This service could spice up any event outside the college doors. It makes something that is already personalized a bit more you!
What is the biggest surprise you’ve had since you started Pimp My Tee?
When I started PimpMyTee I thought it be only amongst my high school and that my account would only get 10s of followers. Then I started putting a lot of time into giving my account traffic and learning how to grow a brand. It amazes me how now I have hundreds of followers, people who want to see my work.
How do you spread the word about your company?
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?
Never wait to start your dream. A day spent not getting closer to achieving your dream is a day wasted. Also know your worth, everyone has a lot more potential than they expect, why not use every once of your potential in your pursuit of success.