Carrie Happel is 21 years young and co-founder of Zip-A-Dee Tees. With a passion for Disney and design, she blended the two together to launch her business with her cousin Devon Harp. It blossomed into so much more than just tee shirts. If you’ve ever been to Disney, you know the energy that the park has. Carrie and Devon implemented this energy into their business and found something they were incredibly passionate about!
Ben: Before we get into questions, can you give readers a brief introduction of yourself?
Carrie: My name is Carrie Happel and I am one of the founders of Zip-adeetees LLC. I started the company with my cousin Devon Harp. We create Disney inspired apparel and sell them on our website, Zipadeetees.com.
Ben: How did the idea of creating a tee shirt design company come about?
Carrie: Disney became our family vacation. My sister has cerebral palsy and cannot go many places easily, but Disney was always very accommodating and handicap friendly. She fell in love with the parks, and so did my cousin and I. Throughout the years Devon and I had begun to find small shops such as Happilyevertees and fall in love with their creative tees. Two years ago, Devon and I turned to each other and wondered why we couldn’t do the same?
Ben: When and how did you discover your passion for design?
Carrie: I have always loved anything creative. I took art classes as a child and continued through high school. When I was a sophomore in college, I pledged my professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. While pledging, my pledge brothers and I were required to start a business. We decided to create custom SnapChat filters. I learned how to use Illustrator and create filters, logos, and tee designs. The more I learned, the more I fell in love with graphic design.
Ben: Why did you choose child cancer as the cause to donate too?
Carrie: From the beginning, Devon and I knew we wanted to give back somehow. We went back and forth for a while on where we wanted to donate ten percent of our profits. After going over our options we decided to donate to childhood cancer research. We loved our childhoods and going to Disney as a family, we wanted all children to have a chance at a healthy and memorable childhood.
Ben: What is your favorite memory of Zip-A-Dee Tees?
Carrie: My favorite memory was from this past spring when we saw someone wearing one of our tees in the parks for the first time. In February, Devon ran in the Disney 5k, 10k, and half marathon. I went along for the weekend to support her and visit my family. At night we walked around the parks. As we were walking to the buses to go back to the hotel, I spotted someone wearing one of our t-shirts in the corner of my eye. I immediately slapped Devon in the stomach and said “Look!” It was the coolest thing seeing someone in a park filled with thousands of people wearing a t-shirt we made!
Ben: Where do you see Zip-A-Dee tees in the next 5 years?
Carrie: Devon and I hope to see our business grow in the next few years. After a year and a half in business, we have made incredible steps in the right direction. Because Devon and I both love graphic design, we both come up with new t-shirt ideas all the time, but we don’t always have the funds to make them just yet. In the future, I would love to see us be able to make a wider variety of tees in bulk.
Ben: What advice would you give to someone following their passion?
Carrie: If you ever think to yourself, “Why couldn’t I do this?” then do it. You’ll never know if you don’t give it a try. Going into this business, I had no clue how to use Adobe Illustrator or run a business. Instead of using something like that as an excuse, teach yourself!
As you can see, Carrie has the drive to make a difference in this world. Zip-A-Dee Tees are still in their beginning stages but they have so much potential. Her story is the perfect example of making your dreams come true if you believe in them. Head over to their site www.zipadeetees.com to purchase their merchandise!