North Texas Daily

Student’s hat company featured in GQ

Student’s hat company featured in GQ

November 26
22:30 2012

H. Drew Blackburn/Staff Writer

Whether it’s a myriad of trend-happy clientele or GQ magazine – if you build it, they will come. Moreover, what you build just may turn into a company that makes six figures.

Political science sophomore Christian Hohmann and Southern Methodist University student Justin Ledford started SNAPSTEEZ, an online boutique that sells vintage snapback hats, in summer 2010.

Hohmann said that he and Ledford, a friend from high school, found a place in Dallas that carried vintage snapbacks for about a dollar each.

“It was a warehouse that was over in the wholesale district of Dallas,” Hohmann said. “We saw that the hats were starting to come back a little bit back then.”

Initially, Hohmann sold hats out of the trunk of his dad’s car.

“That wasn’t an efficient way of doing it,” Hohmann said. “So we decided to sit down and get real and go from there.

The company has grown significantly since it started two years ago. Hohmann said the company made six figures last year.

“We saw our friends working retail, and it was cool for them,” Hohmann said. “They were making steady money, but we wanted to be able to make more.”

Business junior Michael Casmier became aware of SNAPSTEEZ after seeing a sticker for the company on a school bus.

“I checked out what they had, and I saw exactly what I wanted a few weeks later,” Casmier said.

Hohmann said that GQ magazine contacted them via email and that he found the situation odd at first.

“We thought it might be some kind of scam because they wanted us to send them hats for free,” Hohmann said.

However, after checking that the email address matched GQ’s parent company, Condé Nast, their apprehension tuned into excitement.

GQ did a trend report in its October 2011 issue that featured the best snapbacks money can buy, according to the magazine.

Pictured alongside Mitchell & Ness, a company that has been around since 1904, and custom hats made by designers was a Los Angeles Lakers snapback from SNAPSTEEZ.

“We’ve done local publications, but to make that jump so quickly was exciting,” Hohmann said.

Hohmann said that being featured in GQ didn’t directly affect sales in a way that was noticeable, but helped them secure a deal with PLNDR, a subsidiary of Karmaloop, a Boston-based online retailer.

The next step for SNAPSTEEZ is to expand into vintage clothing, which should increase the three-day work schedule Hohmann created to balance SNAPSTEEZ with school.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it,” Hohmann said. “It teaches you the value of hard work. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing something that you’ve worked hard to succeed.”

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