INSIDE OUR ECONOMY: Clothing-line owners shift their strategy

A rough economy has caused Lakeithric James to take his clothing business from online to on the road.
James, 21, and his best friend, 19-year-old Ray Knight, started LIT Clothing a little over a year ago. The two men, both from Columbus and students at Tuskegee University in Alabama, learned quickly they had to change with the times.
The business operates primarily online at www.thelitcity.com. But as sales turned sluggish, the young entrepreneurs started selling their products from the trunks of their cars and from their homes.
“We started selling over the Internet, but people don’t want to pay shipping and handling costs, so we now basically have to sell our product on an in-person basis,” said James. “It’s cheaper to pay us $10 in person than paying the extra shipping costs. Right when we got everything off the ground, it seems like the economy took the worst turn.”
James said it’s hard enough simply being a new business, but the recession makes it that much tougher.
“We wanted to get out on the road and really market the line, but things are just too expensive,” he said. “That plan is at a standstill. When we get out, we are selling shirts from the trunk. We are blessed not to have lost any money yet, and we hope we can continue to run steady until things turn around in the economy.”

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal