By Jonathan Blaylock
A way for a school to get into the school spirit is to make products with the school’s name on it. For the past seven years the Highlander Outfitters have done their best to increase school spirit.
They sell special hoodies and shirts for the football team, design theme shirts, and now are starting to design for other groups on the school.
“We sold over 350 [t-shirts] for last year’s Providence game. We sold over 1,000 for football games last year. We expect to sell 1,500 or more this year,” said math and business teacher Chris Street.
Even though the Outfitters is a store, it is actually put together in a class called business management. Every semester Street gets a new group of students and they take a few days to learn the prices, inventory, and functions of the store. The students rotate functions as the semester progresses in areas like marketing, inventory, designs and workers.
“Most of the students jump right in and start making improvements. I manage it, but I let the students take most of the control under my supervision,”said Street.
Some students have leadership positions, such as junior Logan Gilland, who is the assistant manager.
“My job is to make things move smoother,” said Gilland.
Junior Kylie Wheeler has a different job that focuses on designing t-shirts, working the tables, and advertising the products.
“I like how it is a social class while you get to do more hands on stuff,” said Wheeler.
There are students planning to use this experience from the Outfitters in the real world.
“I’m taking business management because I want to go in business as a career and this class is a good experience of what it would be like,” said senior Ramsey Hafling.
While the Outfitters is run like a company, it does not receive funds from outside resources.
“We are completely self-sufficient. The money we make from selling products goes back into the store to purchase more products,” said Street.
When Street took over seven years ago all the store had was two boxes of inventory. There is now an entire store.
The store sells a lot of Nike and Neff products. Even though it is expensive, the store’s market for their Nike gear is growing. They have a website through Nike that you can customize FC products, but their major seller are the football themed t-shirts.
Last week at the Providence game they sold over 300 shirts and hats.
Street says the Outfitters are planning a “gold out” theme for the Jeff game and the “Chase Brannon” tribute shirt for the Columbus East game.
The Outfitters are off to a good start for this year and they still striving to do better. Their goal is to always beat the previous year’s total and always look to take on new projects.
“I have a great group of students so I don’t think we’ll have any problem meeting our goals. Our goal is get Floyd Central on students and fans,” said Street.