Student-owned business champions individuality through clothing

Atlanta junior, Lauren Gassel, says her small business has become her creative platform while also allowing her an opportunity to give back. Courtesy Photo

By Avery Owens | Staff Writer

One Instagram shop is turning thrifted clothing into one-of-a-kind purchases. LG Customs is owned and run by Atlanta junior Lauren Gassel.

Gassel said her small business is her creative outlet and provides her a platform to give back.

“LG Customs is vintage and secondhand T-shirts that are reworked either through bleaching or tie-dye and different stitching or cutting into new cute and fun, unique pieces,” Gassel said. “I’ve gotten into jeans too, hoodies and jackets.”

Gassel said the desire and demand for her shirts was evident from the beginning.

“I made 10 T-shirts at once for the first time and they all sold,” Gassel said. “I was like, ‘I think I should definitely keep going with this.’”

As a small business owner, Gassel believes her business should have a purpose.

“[My sister] has special needs. She has mitochondrial disease. She’s 16 and my best friend,” Gassel said. “I like to say she’s super unique, just like my shirts. So, they are uniquely unique.”

Gassel said her sister is her source of inspiration.

“She has inspired me to keep doing it, and I want a portion of my annual sales to be donated to their foundation [The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation] to keep research going to finding a cure for her disease,” Gassel said.

Gassel said she will dedicate a day every so often to shop for new products at thrift and antique stores. Then after washing her purchases, she brings everything to her kitchen and starts the creative process of making her LG Customs clothing.

“I will cut them and once I’m done with all of that, I rubber band them all up in certain designs,” Gassel said. “Then I have my bleach in a spray bottle and I will spray them with bleach.”

Gassel additionally uses tie-dye methods instead of bleach.

“My brain kind of turns off,” Gassel said. “It is definitely my happy place. Whatever else is going on in my day… I can shut everything out and focus on making [the products] look the best.”

Austin junior Kennedi Baskett, Gassel’s roommate, said she is proud of what her friend has done.

“I’m really proud that she puts her own twist on the clothes that she thrifts. She puts her own sprinkle of Lauren on them,” Baskett said. “She is a really creative person. All of the shirts she looks at and tries to make new things out of them.”

LG Customs is currently in the rebranding process. Gassel will soon release a new logo and website. For now, her products can be bought through her Instagram page.

Gassel hopes that her customers can embrace their individuality through her clothing.

“Everyone is unique, everyone is different and that’s what makes everyone important and themselves,” Gassel said.