Out East: Full Time Students, Part Time Clothing Artists

When Griffin Mooney and Jake Martin first came to South Bethlehem two years ago as college freshmen, they had no plans to start a clothing company. Today, Mooney and Martin are sophomores in Lehigh University’s business school and spend their spare time running their own clothing company, Out East.

The Beginning

Griffin and Jake met within their first few days on campus and quickly became close. Through this new friendship, the pair found they shared a passion for clothing design. With time, this passion led to the idea of putting their hobby to the test by creating a real product. So after some brainstorming and research, Griffin and Jake got down to business last October and officially founded the clothing company “Out East.” Just a month later, Out East launched their first product, the “Original Brick Red” long sleeve shirt. The shirt features the company’s signature compass logo on the back and “Out East Company” on the front pocket.

Out East Company's Latest Design
Out East Company’s Latest Design

Out East’s Style and Inspiration

Since November, Mooney and Martin have created and sold two other long sleeve shirt designs. According to Griffin and Jake, their talent stems from separate artistic backgrounds. Jake’s background is in photography and sketching and Griffin’s is in music. The pair have been applying these artistic backgrounds and their other interests into creating their Out East designs.

The Out East designs come from a blend of Mooney and Martin’s individual fashion tastes. Griffin describes his fashion as “a bit of a mix of ‘hipster’ and street style.” For Jake, his style “leans more towards a mix of preppy and street style.” Morphing these tastes together, they describe the brand style as a “casual street feel.” Out East is targeting this brand towards young adults “with an adventurous nature to them.” 

Out East’s Yellow Long Sleeve Design

Production Process

When it comes to product creation, Griffin and Jake are the frontmen for the actual product design. After they have their designs down, Mooney and Martin outsource for production and digital design. Their first contact is Andrew Reynolds. Reynolds is a friend of Martin’s who has a background in graphic design. Whenever Mooney and Martin are coming up with a new logo or design, they send Reynolds their sketches and “he creates a proper logo…that is ready to be printed.” Once the digital design is all set, Mooney and Martin reach out to Lehigh Valley Printing. They send their logos to Lehigh Valley Printing who then order the blank shirts and print them.

Out East’s Future

For now, Out East is selling their shirts mostly to other students and some social media relations. They are selling to people they know “are looking for comfortable long sleeve shirts with a dope design.” In the future, Mooney and Martin are looking to branch out to South Bethlehem businesses like Villa, Homebase, and Mvmnt to stock their shirts for the community to buy.

Out East is just at the beginning. This two-man company is the perfect example of how artists of all ages and disciplines can use their passion to have fun and create a useful product. When asked about the future of Out East, Mooney and Martin said it is flexible. Out East isn’t about making money. The pair states that they “are just trying to live in the present, release cool products as we come up with them, and enjoy the ride.” So for Griffin and Jake, working on Out East is simply about fulfilling the company’s slogan to “Stay Radical.”

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