One SPARK: Tie Dye Startup Hopes to Reach Needy

April 6, 2015 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

UNF Student Seth Carey is hoping to garner support for a philanthropic venture based on distinctive Tie Dye T Shirts. Check out a story from our partners at #igniteMedia after the jump!

When people think of tie dye, they often think of the 1960s, but a One Spark creator hopes to link tie dye with philanthropic missions work.

Seth Carey, a University of North Florida junior, is the sole owner and operator of OctoDye Tie Dye. Carey calls his company “mission minded,” with an ambitious business plan, but also with intentions to help needy people in poorer countries.

Carey likens Octodye to Toms Shoes, a company that creates and sells shoes with the idea of donating profits to people in other countries to “provide shoes, sight, water and safer birth services to people in need.”

Carey has been creating and selling his shirts for years now independently, but has decided that this year will be the time to roll out his business on a larger scale and hopes One Spark will help.

Carey is requesting $5,000 during the festival in hopes of paying for costs associated with producing more shirts on a larger scale, including shirts, dyes, silkscreens and promotional products.

“I bought a Dirty Heads shirt off online and I got it and was super bummed— it was super uncomfortable, and I said ‘Hey, I could totally do this on my own for way cheaper,’” Carey said.

After mastering tie dying, Carey learned how to screen print. Today, Carey can produce a shirt with both dying and printing in about two days.

UNF junior Seth Carey hopes tie die clothing line will launch during this year’s One Spark festival. Photo Credit: Ean Gomez.

Carey’s homemade tie dye shirts first entered Trident, a surf shop in Ponte Vedra he frequently visited at the request of the owner for no charge. Carey’s brother then started seeing the shirts in his high school. After that, demand for the shirts went up, and friends and even some strangers started asking for the shirts.

Carey planned to roll out his company his sophomore year of college, but after a hand injury, he had to postpone it.

In the spring of his sophomore year, Carey went on a study abroad and service-learning trip to Peru where he needed to raise money and bring clothes to donate, which became a perfect fit for OctoDye.

“I could have started a GoFundMe,” Carey said, “but I really wanted to incentivize having people give me money … for every two shirts I sold, one went to a kid in Peru.”

Carey said he is currently working with Inland Ocean Surf Shop in the St. Johns Town Center to have his shirts on display for sale and hopes to add a few stores to the list of OctoDye venues.

“I want to do something with missions work in the future, but I also really like the idea of running a business … I feel like One Spark really is the way to do it,” Carey said. “I know that companies like Rethreaded got their start at One Spark.”

The idea behind the company is two-fold. Carey uses profits to fund missions work, but at the same time donates some of his products.

Carey’s tie dye shirts have a distinctive octopus logo and more than anything Carey said the meaning is very basic. Carey said the logo is something he conceptualized and an artistic friend perfected.

“Growing up I thought octopi, anything like that, were the coolest things ever,” Carey said, “they’re kind of mysterious, and they’re kind of hard to see … anything to do with the ocean.”

In the future, Carey hopes to expand his company to more than shirts and would add sun dresses to his inventory.

by Ean Gomez.
#IgniteMedia News Agency

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