Senior Marcel Wilhite discuss launching his clothing brand, “Smilez4Eternity”

Marcel Wilhite launched his brand, Smilez4Eternity, on Feb. 7. He sells hoodies and jaguars on Instragram @smilez4eternity and his online store,, with sizes ranging from small to extra large.

Diana Baeza, Personality Perfectionist

How did you start your business?
“My dad has a brand of his own where he makes custom t-shirts. He already had the materials that I needed so the only thing I needed to come up with was a design. So I came up with a design and he helped me get started and built it [the brand].

What inspired you to start it?
“Seeing my dad [making shirts] really inspired me to get out there and just make an affordable brand for people.”

How has been your progress so far, since you have launched?
“It has been better than I thought. I am getting a lot of support from everyone around the world and especially from the school. I have a lot of school orders. I had a couple of orders from North Carolina and Michigan, so it has been going really well.”

What have been your achievements and setbacks?
“Getting a brand – that was a big accomplishment. Having your own brand is really big. A lot of people have ideas but don’t put it together. It was an accomplishment to put a brand together and sell it to everybody. [For setbacks], finding a brand of hoodies and jaguars that [will] work that I can print on. Because some of them are too soft or too heavy. I had to do a lot of experimenting with different brands to see how they feel.”

What was the process like for designing the clothes?
“I would say it was pretty fast (for the process of designing). Over the snow days that we had, I was working because I was bored. I designed the website one day and was able to get it published in a week.”

What are your goals for your business?
“I want to have a total of 100 orders by the end of this year. [As of right now] I have 20.”

What is your source of motivation?
“I just want to be successful and live the life I always imagined: have a good life and some money. And this is just a backup plan. I plan on going to college to be a computer programer. So this is just a side business for me, but if it ends up getting bigger, then I will obviously take it to that level.”

Any comments for those who have an idea on starting a business or a project?
“Don’t be afraid. It’s obviously going to be hard in the beginning, and you have to get all of the resources together. I already had some resources so it was kind of easy for me, but for other people who don’t have that, I have to keep going and keep trying. I promise you, you’ll get it. It will take some time but you will eventually get it.”