Home On Campus UNL student creates custom game day apparel, markets through Instagram

UNL student creates custom game day apparel, markets through Instagram

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Mallory Krenk poses with one of her custom-made shirts.
Mallory Krenk poses with one of her custom-made shirts. Photo by Jensyn Burchett

On any given Husker game day, among the variety of red, white and black shirts in the stands are designs created by Mallory Krenk.

Krenk, a sophomore studying business administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, started making game day apparel in October 2018. 

She got her start after asking her sister to make her a shirt for a football game, but then she learned how simple it was and started to make them herself. That’s when her business, geared toward college students, started. 

“I just saw like a demographic of people that I could really target because I’m in college and I think it was really easy for me to understand what college people want,” Krenk said. “I kind of just threw myself in it and was just like, ‘I’ll figure it out as I go.’”

Krenk’s shirts say things like, “‘skers by 90,” “‘Braska baby,” “HSKR PWR” and “I just hope both teams had fun.” They come in all different colors, and the sayings can be put on shirts, sweatshirts or tank tops. Customers can also choose if they want the shirt bleached and/or cropped. 

“I think that’s what makes them special is that everyone gets a different thing and gets what they want,” Krenk said. 

Krenk runs her business on Instagram under the name “malmakes_.” On it she posts pictures of new apparel items and explains the process of ordering. 

In August 2019, she had around 250 followers, but then she did a giveaway and gained 250 more. She now has over 2,000 followers.

“I was honestly very shocked but I think that just shows how great social media is for a way to market and it’s cheap, like it’s free,” Krenk said.

Krenk said she likes to keep the cost low for her customers since they’re mostly college students. 

“They range from $20 to $30 on the customer end … for it being custom, I think that’s very reasonable,” Krenk said.

MalMakes2 - UNL student creates custom game day apparel, markets through Instagram
Shirts created by Mallory Krenk. Photo by Jensyn Burchett

In addition to shirts, Krenk also makes scrunchies and stickers. She wants to expand her business to include more things such as buttons and pleated skirts. The next big step for Krenk’s business is a website and more pop-up shops. 

“I’ve tried to figure out what people want before I make it, see if there’s even a market for it or a need for it,” Krenk said. 

Since she’s in college, she has learned how to balance her time between being a student and running her business. She stays motivated because she likes making the shirts. 

“Sometimes I’ll be up until like 2 a.m. making these shirts but if I’m on a deadline I have to get it done,” Krenk said. “One big thing is that I actually enjoy doing it.”