THINKTANK DIDN'T START off as a clothing company, instead it was just that: a group of thinkers. Starting in March of last year, I began seeking good down-to-earth conversations with people - whether we talked about why some kids weren't motivated or how the universe was formed, I didn't care, as long as the conversation was interesting. I wanted these discussions to transcend day-to-day life; to be more philosophical than the usual adolescent banter about girls, sports, and cars.
I kept organizing think tanks at least once a month until the summer when I left for France. It was during the first think tank after my foreign experience that someone floated the idea of ThinkTank the clothing company purely as a laugh. I laughed too, but at the same time thought about the possibilities. I went home that day full of excitement, brainstormed ideas for shirts and made a company Facebook page, even though we didn't have a logo. But we were on our way.
Fast forward eight months and we're not much farther along. We've ordered 48 hats to get the brand out, but are finding it harder to sell them than we expected. First of all, nobody wants the same hat as someone else - as soon as one person gets one, that pretty much rules out most of the school. Second, high schoolers are really cheap about certain things. They'll fork over upwards of $200 on a pair of jeans or $40 on a sports team's hat, but they illegally download music instead of buying the $10 album, and - most importantly for us - won't buy a branded hat for $30. I know we'll eventually sell the hats, it's just a matter of time before we reach enough people.
Starting ThinkTank (the group and the clothing company) has made me appreciate Alaska a lot more. This winter, I've spent at least one night a week up on Flattop stargazing for the perfect shot, or chasing the Aurora across the Valley. Yes, I’m a dreamer. It's made me realize that there's nowhere else in the world like Alaska, and just how much I'm going to miss it next year. I plan on continuing ThinkTank through college, and maybe beyond, but either way it's just my way of getting close to nature, getting close to what people really think.