SCC Student Runs Thriving Apparel Business

HayleyStamper
Hayley Stamper is a Business Administration student at SCC.

Hayley Stamper started sewing when she was in the 5th Grade. When she got to high school she designed a few shirts for friends. Now at the age of 19, she’s got a full time apparel business with five seamstresses, 12 designers, 24 stylists and a waiting list for more people who want to work for her. She has orders coming in at all hours of the day and night. When she’s not doing all of that, she’s attending business classes at SCC.

“When I was little I was always selling something,” Stamper said. “Lemonade, bricks, hair bows.”

That business sense has come in handy as her h.flynn designs business has taken off faster than she ever imagined. Stamper’s business is designing custom applique shirts, sweatshirts and hats with the state of Nebraska shape and other designs. She’s also popular with sororities and high schools.

With over 300 different fabrics to choose from, they do custom orders big and small. Recently, O’Neill High School put in an order for 350 shirts. They also did a small order for the Lincoln Southwest High School reserve cheerleaders. 

“This is our busy time,” Stamper said. “We usually have a waiting period of 2-3 weeks, but since its football season we’re telling people 3-5 weeks to be safe.”

No matter what the size of the order, Stamper says her quality control is excellent. Each shirt is designed with the same care as the next one.

“We check every shirt before it goes out,” she said. “We test all of our seamstresses, and sometimes we have to let them go.”

During Stamper’s senior year at Lincoln Pius X High School, she scheduled visits to nearby colleges and universities. She said her parents had a college savings plan for her with enough to pay for four years. But after thinking about it long and hard, she decided to study Business Administration at SCC and put the rest of the money from her college account into h.flynn designs.

Stamper feels like she’s ahead of the game because she’s actually running her own business and running into real-life situations and challenges that occur in business settings.

“I know people who are going to UNL and living the college experience,” she said, “but some of them are still trying to figure out what they’re going to do.”

Hayley doesn’t have that problem. Her father owns his own business, and she knew early on she wanted to either work with him, or do something on her own.

“I always knew I wanted to do something in business,” she said.

Since h.flynn designs has become so successful, Stamper doesn’t do much of the designing and sewing anymore. She spends her days ordering apparel, taking online orders, fielding calls, picking up the apparel from the designers and shipping it out. In the evenings she works on email and social media postings.

Even though she works more than 40 hours per week, she said it’s worth it.

“I like to pick the hours I do work,” she said. “I can take my laptop with me and not have to worry about being in an office as an employee.”

Being your own boss and running your own business also has its drawbacks. She gets emails at all hours of the night, and many times they can be quite demanding.

“I can never clock out,” she added.

As a result, Stamper’s boyfriend, Austin Reed, even helps out if he wants to spend time with his girlfriend.

“I make him come over to my house and iron shirts,” she says with a smile.

One of her most memorable experiences so far is when she donated 16 custom sweatshirts to the family of Sam Foltz. Foltz was Nebraska’s starting punter who was killed in a car accident in July. His sister was one of Stamper’s customers. Many members of the Foltz family wore the shirts when he was honored on the field before a game.

“I cried when I saw it on the big screen,” Stamper said.

Stamper has run her business out of her parent’s basement, and all the stylists and seamstresses work out of their homes. That will change in November when she moves into her new building downtown Lincoln. She said it won’t be a retail store, but rather a production facility. It’s located at Ninth and J Streets.

In the future she hopes to see her business continue to grow, with a bigger facility and more full-time employees. She would like to have her custom-designed state shirts in every state, not just Nebraska.

You can find her merchandise at local stores such as the Fort, the Edge, Scheel’s and Mesh. Her apparel is in 35 retail stores in Nebraska, Iowa, North Carolina and Texas.

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For more information contact:
Andrea Gallagher Haggar
Marketing Specialist
402-323-3395
ahaggar@southeast.edu