After two years of hard work, former LCHS student Alisa Chung has finally launched her own business on January 23. Her Portland-based brand, Chibitribe, is focused on selling quality clothing for the teenage demographic, featuring artwork that’s hand drawn by the entrepreneur herself.
“I’ve always been really into art, and I wanted to find a way to sell my artwork,” Alisa explained. “Eventually, I thought it would be a fun idea to put my designs onto T-shirts.”
But the journey to getting Chibitribe off the ground came with plenty of obstacles. Many of the adults she wanted to work with didn’t take her seriously, often noting how she was “too young” to lead her own business. She also spent months working to receive her business license, meet with possible manufacturers, and sift through endless amounts of paperwork. The process was strenuous, and she had to balance the project with her studies and outside responsibilities. Yet despite all the challenges that she faced, Alisa was firmly dedicated to the project.
“I got a lot of support from my friends and family, and their encouragement always pushed me to keep moving forward. My leadership and communication skills also improved, and I definitely learned how to manage my time well,” she joked. “My brother and dad eventually joined the project as major collaborators, and having them work with me made the experience that much more rewarding than if I had tackled it alone.”
Alisa was also determined to support local manufacturers while planning out her business endeavors.
“It’s not just about making money. Throughout the entire process, I knew it was important to contribute to businesses already established in my community, and use quality fabric that would make my products worthwhile. Outsourcing locally is a huge priority for me.”
As a result, all of Chibitribe’s clothing is made of 100% cotton, and each piece is pre-washed before being shipped off to customers.
The first product that’s been released in her online store is a T-shirt labeled “Shoob,” sporting a black-and-white drawing of a sleepy dog wrapped around the side. Each t-shirt cost $25. As the brand continues to receive more success, Chibitribe’s product line is set to include hoodies, sweatpants, and other casual wear in the future. But for now, Alisa’s next goal is to release a T-shirt featuring an adorable storm cloud cartoon, fittingly named “Nimbus.”
It’s not everyday that a teenager starts their own business, but Alisa Chung has definitely proven that she’s up for the challenge.
All Photos Credited to Chibitribe
Business website: www.chibitribe.com