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Senior Matthew Skowronski runs clothing business

Written by Joanna Huang

Senior Matthew Skowronski started his online store, Tranquil Clothing, three years ago during his search for a meaningful undertaking. “Basically I wanted to just do something—I felt like I wasn’t really doing much. I was doing extracurricular activities, but it wasn’t very interesting to me,” Skowronski said. “I just started designing on the computer and eventually that just turned into creating clothes.”

Tranquil Clothing’s simple website features T-shirts, hoodies and hats in a variety of styles personally designed by Skowronski. His goal is to have the clothing appeal to a diverse group of people, and he advertises through Instagram posts.

Skowronski did not receive any formal mentoring for his business. He appreciates how his entrepreneurial experience taught him to work independently. “I feel like [starting a business] is a really good way to learn, because you have to do everything yourself—you’re kind of forced to, because if you get help from other people then you kind of fall behind with your own skills,” he said. “If you do everything yourself—every part of a business—then you learn a lot, because you learn how to put a website together and how to advertise and all that. That’s really good for real-world uses.”

Skowronski finds the Gunn community highly supportive of student entrepreneurship. “I
feel like there’s a lot of encouragement to do things like [start a business] and a lot of people who actually do it,” he said. “So there’s a lot of people you can go to for advice and help.”

Due to his time spent individually working, however, Skowronski emphasizes the importance of intrinsic motivation. “[Starting a business is] kind of really self-motivated, like you have to really want to do it yourself,” he said. “I feel like if you really want to make your own company, it really comes from you.”

In the future, Skowronski intends to start another business, along with majoring in business or economics. “I can see myself making other similar businesses, but not sticking with this one because this one was more like a project just so I could learn a lot and how to build a business in the first place,” he said. “I’m happy where I got with it, but I feel like in the future I would move onto other ventures.”

His advice to aspiring student entrepreneurs is to just do it. “A lot of people are like ‘oh, I should do this’ or ‘what if I did this?’” he said. “But why don’t you just do it and see what happens?”

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