E-commerce as a way to make money has blown up in the past decade and a half. With so many people now gravitating online, the marketing industry has also migrated along with its market. The younger generation has spearheaded this effort, with college and even high school students looking to make money and hone their marketing skills in the digital space.
Enter Travis Gelinas. Currently a Junior at BU studying Chemistry. Travis has been running an e-commerce clothing store featuring his own custom shorts known as “T’s Trunks”. Travis has been at this endeavor for about two years now, investing copious amounts of his own time and money in efforts to promote his product. He tracks inventory on his own and ships out based on the demand for his product. Currently, his clothing line consists of two 5 inch seam hybrid shorts that can be used as both swim trunks and casual wear.
Travis’ marketing efforts have been focused on social media, targeting Gen Z. Known as the Digital Natives, 98% of Gen Zs own a smartphone and on average spend more than 4 hours a day on apps. It is no surprise that 97% of Gen Zs say that social media is their main source of shopping inspiration. Travis uses social media marketing in full force with his use of Instagram and Tik Tok. His handle, @tstrunks, has amassed over 10.9k likes across his videos and looks to continue growing, along with his Instagram and Snapchat.
Travis hopes to tap into his own network soon and utilize the amazing college town that is Boston to take his brand to the next level. He serves as the merchandise chair for the Kappa Sigma fraternity at BU and looks to promote his brand here, as well as help the organization at the same time. Collaborating with charities such as Habitat for Humanity as well as musicians for the annual “Open Haus” concert, Travis looks to take his merchandise to the next level.
As the digital age continues, we seem to find more and more ambitious young people like Travis who are not afraid to take chances on their entrepreneurial skills. The world is rapidly shifting online, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the next generation looks to be in prime position to take advantage of this. I am looking forward to seeing how these next few years play out, and am expecting many more Travis’ to emerge.