From left: Aiden Spiers, Wade Bond, Ethan Sheets and Giles Garner pose with hats and hoodies bearing their original designs. The four teenage entrepreneurs started Twisted Sage Hat Co. last year. (For the Enterprise/Chantel Sheets)
ADRIAN – It all started last year at the Malheur County Fair. Four high school friends walked around and noticed almost everyone was wearing hats with the same designs.
Boring, they thought. Their next thought? We can spice things up.
Twisted Sage Hat Co. was born.
The entrepreneurs – Aiden Spiers, Ethan Sheets, Giles Garner and Wade Bond – are selling more than just hats.
They’ve stamped their original logos and designs on a line of T-shirts and hoodies. The design ideas come organically, they explained.
The quartet of boys, ages 17-18 and all but one from Adrian High School, love fishing and hunting.
They’ve found inspiration in the wilderness around them.
“We just mess around until we find something that looks nice,” said Garner, a 17-year-old junior at Nyssa High School.
Their hoodies proudly read “Eastern Oregon” on the back. But their products have made their way as far away as Kansas and Texas.
The hats took off fast. The boys said they sold their first batch of 65 hats within 20 minutes while sitting at a kitchen table and using their social media savvy to market and message interested buyers.
Twisted Sage currently sells five hat designs, which they print at Positive Threads Custom Designs in Wilder, Idaho.
Clients were so pleased with the hats that they started asking if they could take the designs and emblazon them on clothing.
Twisted Sage now works with Brown Bag Custom Apparel in Malheur County to print the garments.
“We had to work super hard and put almost all of our money into it,” said Sheets, 17, from Adrian.
The goal is to make enough money to buy the company’s own embroidery machine, which can run upwards of $20,000.
For now they’re keeping at it – fulfilling orders each week and working on getting a website up and running.
Most of the company’s business is conducted via Twisted Sage’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
As they sat together last week – all decked out in Twisted Sage gear – the four entrepreneurs reflected on what they want for their company.
“We just want to be big,” they said, practically in unison. “We want to be the next big thing.”
Have a news tip? Reporter Yadira Lopez: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.
CORRECTION: The company they created is Twisted Sage Hat Co. The name was incorrect in an earlier version of the summary. The Enterprise apologizes for the error.
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