Last Friday, Tyler Woyshner, Mike Rudolph and Chaz Briggs expanded their two-toned hoodie business with the grand opening of their new store, Switch Shirts.
Nearly two years ago, Woyshner, 19, went to see Dave Matthews Band at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden. Woyshner was wearing a blue hoodie, and while at the concert, he bought a gray commemorative T-shirt of the band and flung it over his shoulder.
Later, Rudolph saw a picture of Woyshner on Facebook that had been snapped at the concert.
“I said, ‘Are you wearing a double-colored sweatshirt?’” Rudolph, 21, recalled saying after seeing his friend’s posting.
He wasn’t. But a light bulb went off over the two friends' heads.
The guys bought a couple of sweatshirts, cut them down the back, and sewed two different-colored sweatshirt halves together.
“We wore them around town, and everyone asked us where we got them,” said Woyshner, a junior at Drexel University studying architectural engineering.
So the ingenious friends bought 200 more hoodies and set to work.
That was in November 2010, and their company Switch Shirts was born.
Briggs, 21—a friend since attending with Woyshner and Rudolph—joined forces with the team in January 2011. He created the company’s Facebook page and assisted on the website's graphics.
“I handled a lot of the business functions because I was more local,” said Briggs, who is a commuter student studying business administration in his senior year at Rutgers University in Camden.
The whiz kids have four sewing machines, and each takes a turn doing the stitching. They also handle all of the accounting, customer orders and advertising themselves.
The trio trademarked their logo, which was designed by Rudolph’s brother, Bryan, and hold a patent on their product. The name of the business was their friend Ben Smith's idea.
When they started, Rudolph—who will also be a senior, and is in the engineering program at West Virginia University—said they ordered their sweatshirts from a manufacturer located in China. Recently though, they switched to an American company in Pennsylvania.
Some of their more popular colors have been those of professional sports teams: the Philadelphia Flyers’ orange and black; the Eagles’ green and white; and the Phillies’ red and white.
To date, they’ve sold more than 2,000 of the unique zip-up and pullover sweatshirts.
Six months ago, they started selling short-sleeved T-shirts that are also two-toned, which they think will take off now that the weather has turned warmer.
The guys plan to keep the store open for the next three months. If it’s successful, the plan is to hire employees to run it when they all return to college. Their hoodies and T-shirts will still be available from their website, switchshirts.net.
The sweatshirts start at $25, and T-shirts start at $10. There are 15 colors to choose from. They come in adult sizes small through XXL.
“It was an idea that just came to us,” said Woyshner. “And it’s worked.”
Visit Switch Shirts at 319A Washington Ave., Moorestown, or check out switchshirts.net.