According to the Small Business Administration, over 627,000 new small-businesses start each year, and subsequently, 94% of those close the same year. One small business that defied the odds is Avian Apparel, created by Truman State University senior Fletcher Ferguson and alumnus Christian Ferguson.
Christian was sitting in his room in Missouri Hall when he came up with the idea to create a hat with a printed feather. Little did he know, this idea would kick-start a business with his brother that has grown to sell nearly 60 products.
“We didn’t have too much to go off of when we started,” said Christian. “It definitely blew up way bigger than we thought it would.”
Fletcher, Christian’s brother and co-founder of Avian Apparel said Christian was inspired by the idea of birds and how they aren’t bound by anything.
They then began to shape their entire brand around this idea. The brand’s main goal is to motivate their customers and encourage them to “take flight” and do the things that scare them the most.
“[Christan] liked the idea of unlimited potential,” said Fletcher. “Now we want to promote the idea to never settle and to always try to achieve more.”
Once Chrisitan shared this new business idea with his friends and family, he said they were all ecstatic and supported them throughout the journey.
Fletcher and Christian said they were excited to start the brand, but they had a lot to learn. Neither of them knew how to code, nor did they know how to build a website to promote their business. Fletcher said he and Christian watched some videos and learned everything themselves.
Through watching videos, the brothers created a website, advertised and gained exposure on many fronts.
During this process, they sold their product to several family members, friends and strangers, Christian said. Many aspects of the business were rewarding, like selling a product to someone in the Netherlands.
Early in the process of creating Avian Apparel, Fletcher and Christian got tickets to a Quinn XCII concert where they met the singer backstage. They gave him their first product, the hat with a printed feather, and Quinn XCII wore it for the whole concert.
Fletcher and Christian agreed that it was incredibly rewarding to see a big name singer wearing their new product. They also brought more hats and gave them out to the band who also wore them during the concert.
“He wore it [the hat] for the whole concert that night and posted pictures of him wearing it on Instagram,” said Fletcher. “That is one thing that I’m most proud of.”
While starting the business, the brothers faced some difficulties. With Christian recently graduated and Fletcher still being in college, finding time to work on Avian Apparel was a difficult task.
They also faced motivational issues seeing that this was a hobby for them while at work and school. Even though they created the business to sustain itself, they needed to update products which proved difficult while living nearly three hours away from each other.
“Some days we won’t feel like it … but we have to always think about how Avian motivates us as well to keep going,” said Fletcher.
Christian echoed these sentiments and explained how they are both passionate about the business and want to see it flourish.
They have since created hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, crewnecks and more. Christian mentioned that they went as far as researching color psychology to better represent Avian Apparel’s motto of motivation and inspiration.
They are looking forward to the potential they think this business will reach as well as continuing to work together.
“I couldn’t have done it without Fletch and I don’t think we could have done this without each other,” said Christian.
Fletcher and Christian have a 12-year-old brother who is said to be the “co-co-founder” of Avian Apparel and he is excited to hop on board with his two older brothers.
They all have enjoyed creating the brand, and they said they want their customers to realize that Avian Apparel is more than just a clothing brand. They said they want to advertise that it’s about achieving what was originally thought of as impossible.
Both Fletcher and Christian said, “take flight and reach your maximum potential.”