As freshmen at UW-Madison in 2004, dorm-mates Troy Vosseller and Ben Fiechtner toyed with starting various enterprises - a dating service for students, a gas-delivery service for mopeds. Finally they decided on a business celebrating the Wisconsin lifestyle - dairy products, football and all.
The result: a T-shirt business called Sconnie Nation. The first 100 shirts sold out in a week, and in its first two years, Sconnie Nation banked a whopping $150,000 through online sales and football games. Now graduates, the boys recently opened their first Sconnie Nation storefront in partnership with Ann Arbor, Mich.-based screenprinting and embroidery company Underground Printing.
The store is a shrine to the UW and all things Wisconsin. You'll find selections from the Sconnie line: tees and hoodies with amusing sayings ("Great Lakes Good Times," "Hooray Wisconsin"), baseball caps, drinking glasses, even a Babcock Hall ice cream cart (free ice cream with purchase!).
And there's definitely a dorm-room vibe with comfy couches and an old-school Nintendo to play while you wait for a shirt to be screenprinted.
Vosseller, a Wisconsin native, is proud to have a business that captures the Wisconsin spirit. "It just comes down to the people," he says. "People here are fun-loving, approachable, and just like to have a good time."
Show some Wisconsin pride with these items: "It's Hard to Be Humble When You're From Wisconsin" tee ($15); "Highlighter" Bucky tee ($20); "Sconnie" baseball cap ($16).
Sconnie Nation/Underground Printing
521 State St., 661-4350
10 am-7 pm Mon.-Fri., Sat.-Sun. by appointment