The launch of a new T-shirt company by 14-year-old Maggie Carrier, a freshman at Nevis School, has its roots in something that's common in most families: sibling rivalry.
"We love each other very much, but sometimes my sister, Tori, can be very annoying," Maggie said.
Tori is a freshman at Bethel University and Maggie's birthday was also her move-in day at college.
"My birthday's a big deal to me and my sister moved in on my birthday," Maggie said. "The day was not going to be my day; it was going to be Tori's day. That disappointed me a little bit."
Maggie said that experience gave her the idea for her "The universe hates me" T-shirt. It also was the day she decided to form her T-shirt company and name it Sukittori, LLC.
The company name originates in a "sukittori" chant was made up by Maggie's aunt and uncle and their friends in response to Tori asking to go to Portugal with them. She was too young to go and the trip was too expensive. "To tease her, every night at dinner they would do a "suck it (up) Tori" cheer and as a joke they would send by video." Katrina said the phrase had been used lightheartedly in the family for the past two years.
Maggie formed the company with her sister's blessing and plans to give her a T-shirt as soon as they are available.
"I am proud of Maggie and her ability to take a dream and make it a reality," Tori said. "I will proudly be wearing the 'My dad likes me better so...' T-shirt since our dad likes me better."
Another T-shirt says "Why expand your horizons when your horizons are already set?" She said that saying came from when she was in Europe at age 9.
"They kept telling me to expand my horizons because I didn't really like the food over there," she said. "I think it would be cool for people to wear that because it's a funny quote that people can relate to because you're used to eating your own food and being comfortable in your own box and don't want to branch out of it."
Katrina describes Maggie as a spunky, sarcastic 14-year-old with an entrepreneurial
and philanthropic spirit.
"My aunt, Evon Spangler, is a lawyer in St. Paul and she helped me with the process of making my company a reality," Maggie said. "We had to file with the government and do a lot of paperwork and she knew how to do it."
Maggie has met with a trademark attorney and a T-shirt printer and a website is in the works as well. Looking ahead to the future, Maggie said the most exciting thing would be opening a "pop-up" store.
Maggie said all of her T-shirts will feature her original quotes and help her earn money towards her college education. The shirts come in youth, women's and men's sizes.
Maggie said she plans to be a pediatrician and will donate 5 percent of her company's net profits to charitable organizations in Minnesota that focus on children's issues.
"I am going to be donating to the Children's Hospital," she said. "It will help kids pay the bills for medical expenses when they can't afford it because I want to be a pediatrician when I get older and I think that's important. Also I'm going to be donating to the Domestic Abuse Advocacy Center to keep kids safe."
The official launch party in northern Minnesota for Sukittori, LLC will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Northwoods Café in Nevis. T-shirts will be for sale at the event as well as at a launch party down in the Twin Cities. Maggie is also working on bringing her line to local retail stores.
"There's also one shop in the Cities that's going to sell her shirts," Katrina said. "She's starting off slow, but she has big dreams. She is going to do a couple of craft shows to start off with. She also a ninth grader, so there's only so much time she can devote right now."
In addition to running her new business, Maggie is on the Nevis volleyball team and plays softball. She plans to work on her business more in the winter because she doesn't play a winter sport.
Each slogan designs comes in two color options. She said she hopes to continue this company into college. She also plans to give family members shirts as Christmas gifts.
"My sister wants me to make custom T-shirts for her, but I'm just doing my original saying," she said. "Right now I'm just trying to focus on getting my launch party set up."
For more information or to order a T-shirt, contact Maggie at email@example.com.