Baylor alumna combines spirit with style

BEAR ESTABLISHED APPAREL The college apparel company Established and Company is co-owned by Baylor alumna Sarah Gardner. The company produces stylized college merchandise. Photo Courtesy of Sarah Gardner

By Preston Gossett | Reporter

Established and Company started out as nothing more than a class project.

Sarah Gardner, Austin resident, Baylor University alumna and co-owner of Established and Company, graduated Baylor with a degree in entrepreneurship and marketing and a merchandising minor. She said her background gave her all of the needed assets and strengths to make a class project into a fully-functioning business.

“[The company] is all about combining fashion with university apparel,” Gardner said. “The willingness of Baylor to give us a license [to sell university apparel] and to give us a chance — that’s what made this business what it is today.”

Established and Company began with just a few brand ambassadors, Gardner said.

Sunnyvale, Calif., junior Rebeka Shols became Established and Company’s first campus director this semester. As a campus director, Shols is responsible for overseeing ambassadors, actively seeking ways to get involved and spreading awareness of their brand through social media and event spaces.

“We’re looking to revamp the program and really have people [with us] that want to be with us and are passionate about the brand,” Shols said. “[The company] is all about school spirit and having pride in your school. at’s what we’re trying to instill in the other schools [that Established and Company represents] as well.”

The company is currently represented on three different college campuses in Texas: Baylor University, the University of Houston and Southern Methodist University. Within the next five years, Gardner said she hopes to have expanded onto all the Big 12 campuses. There are certain aspects of the business model that Gardner said she hopes will expand.

“First and foremost, we offer fashion forward, trendy products to the college market,” Gardner said. “Something else that is really important to us is showcasing the history and traditions of each university through our apparel and our social media.”

Waco resident and Established and Company ambassador Sarah Lingle said one of the things she liked most about the company from the beginning is the unique aspect that comes from customized fit to personal style.

“One of the things that separates this company from the competition is that the owners are both Baylor grads, so they have a genuine sense of Baylor pride,” Lingle said. “They’re not just trying to sell a product. It’s something that they love.”

For Established and Company to continue to grow and expand onto other college campuses, the ambassador program is a huge key to marketing with businesses and brands, Gardner said. Shols, as campus director, is responsible for building awareness, pushing the brand into the social media market.

“A lot of prominent brands, like Bumble and Outdoor Voices, are starting to develop these campus ambassador programs,” Gardner said. “The whole point is to push marketing and awareness, and also create a brand culture on the university’s campus while developing community.”

Lingle is on her second semester as an ambassador and said she hopes to continue with the company until she graduates.

“As an ambassador, we do photo shoots and post pictures wearing the company’s clothes on our Instagram, so it’s really cool when people ask where we got our clothes from and we get to tell them about the brand,” Lingle said.

Established and Company has a pop-up event called “Holiday Sip & Shop” coming up from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Baylor Club.