Junior Marcus Alipate’s clothing company TrueYou recently gained LLC status, an important milestone for any business.
Alipate created TrueYou in an entrepreneurship class last fall. He said limiting stereotypes found in high school is what inspired the company.
“Something I saw as a problem was in high school, people would categorize other people. ‘He’s an athlete. He’s this way. He’s a baseball player. He’s an artist,’” Alipate said.
Alipate said TrueYou aims to express individuality and break away from labels imposed by others.
“You’re more than one dimension,” Alipate said. “Something I really love is fashion too, and so I kind of decided to put both of them together and start a clothing brand.”
Alipate’s friend, University of Minnesota-Duluth sophomore David Christianson, said he isn’t surprised by Alipate’s success.
“Marcus has always had that drive. He’s always wanted to be successful in whatever he’s done, and I think this is a great way for him to do that,” Christianson said.
As a starting guard on the St. Thomas men’s basketball team, Alipate balances athletics, academics and this business venture. Coach John Tauer said he thinks Alipate is doing a good job balancing all three.
“So to add on top of (basketball), a small business like he has done … I think it made for a challenging fall in a lot of ways, but Marcus I think really epitomizes that balance of excellence in all areas of his life,” Tauer said.
While TrueYou is relatively new, Alipate said the most important things include making the brand known, connecting with others and emphasizing the message behind the brand.
“It’s been able to open up doors for me, meeting new people and … understanding people at a different level rather than a ‘hi and bye,’” Alipate said. “Right now (I’m) just getting the word out there and getting the product as much recognition as I can.”
Alipate said he hopes to have TrueYou clothing in stores around the country in the future.
“Hopefully a couple years from now, that’s definitely a plan of mine–to have them in stores around the country and hopefully have them around the world,” Alipate said.
Alison Bengtson, Tom Pitzen, Jake Remes, and Jamie Bernard contributed to this report.