Purple has now become a profession.
TCU alumni Beau Davis said after he became tired of the options offered in town, he and Andrew Ward, also a TCU alumni, decided to open their own TCU apparel store called The Varsity.
“Everything was stale and nothing really changed and we kind of decided [that] we wanted to do something a little bit different where we can kind of be creative with what we’re doing,” Davis said.
After five years of discussion with Ward, The Varsity opened on August 17, Davis said. Since then, TCU officials such as Chancellor Victor Boschini, head football coach Gary Patterson, head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle and TCU Athletic Director Chris Del Conte have all visited the store, he said.
After a 5,000 application hike to the university since last year and a Rose Bowl win, Davis said he believed that now was better than ever to open a TCU apparel store.
“You know it’s just the right time,” Davis said. “Right now it’s just strike while the iron’s hot I guess.”
Boschini said that despite the down economy, he could not agree more that now was the right time to open the store. Much of that was due to the new fans that the university gained and the loyalty that the fans want to flaunt, he said.
Fortunately, Davis and Ward’s new endeavor was not affected by the recession, Davis said. Although the two were both communication studies majors, Davis said it was his overall experience at TCU and his passion for the university that fueled the project rather than any past entrepreneurial experience.
“This is all new to me. I kind of have worked in small retail jobs in college and in high school, but for the most part this is all new and just kind of learning the business as we go,” he said.
Boschini said the success of the business will not depend on the type of degree that the co-owners received. Instead, it will be the skills they acquired from that major and how they apply it to the future. Communication, working with vendors and working with the public are all skills that Davis and Ward can apply to their company, Boschini said.
“I think that it’s a perfect match for him,” Boschini said. “And I know Beau, and it is a perfect match for him.”
Senior earth resources major Kendall Carew said it was Boschini who spread the word about The Varsity to him over the summer. Since then, he has been in to order apparel not only for himself, but also for his whole fraternity.
“We’ve been looking forward to it for awhile [and] I think it’s wonderful,” Carew said.
Davis said he hoped the store could start to expand and eventually take it to other markets. However it may not be TCU apparel forever, Davis said, as he hoped to take it to smaller schools and recreate the same idea there.
With a license through the school that gave them the freedom to use and alter TCU logos, Davis said that freedom for creativity will continue his passion for the school while creating new products for the store.
“Obviously my purple closet just keeps growing with all this stuff,” he said. “Got plenty of purple.”