We had the good fortune of connecting with Reese Large and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Reese, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my business, Real Life, because one of my go to clothing stores had just closed. In Santa Barbara, where I live, there are not a ton of clothing options for teens and tweens. This gave me an idea. I decided to start a clothing business for ages 11+ that donates a portion of its profits to non-profit organizations every quarter. All of our products are made sustainably and without sweatshops. The sweatshirts, hoodies, and tees are made from the coziest materials! I designed all of the graphics which are then printed onto our clothing by an amazing, local printer. Real Life has evolved into an great online store with kids sizes even! You can also visit the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Store to see our clothes in person.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It wasn’t easy starting a business in the midst of a global pandemic but zooming with professionals really helped me to understand more about the clothing industry and what I needed to do to get my business up and running. One lesson I learned along the way is that you always have to work hard but still find time for yourself. I also learned about good customer service, how to build relationships with your peers, and even how to build a website. One thing I would want the world to know about Real Life is that it is a teen run business trying to make a difference by donating to non-profits quarterly.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Every year my best friends visit from Colorado for about two weeks. We have to stop by The Habit (the original started in Santa Barbara) and Blenders almost every day. What’s better than burgers and smoothies? We love to hike and surf, so we head to Lizard’s Mouth in the Los Padres National Forest and then down to Campus Point, a great kid-friendly surf spot on the UCSB campus. Other favorite places to visit are the Pier and the Harbor where we stop in at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum or rent kayaks and stand up paddle boards to play in the water. Another fun place to experience is Elings Park. We hike and bike the trails, watch softball games, or watch RC cars racing on the track. If there is time, we have also taken trips down south do Disneyland. It is not that far away and we all love the magic of Disney!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?