Limited editions: Nevada County natives meet up to create business in Santa Barbara
February 11, 2019
Adam Verhasselt, Ryley Peterson, and Will Young began working together a short time ago, to solidify a dream.
The trio of Nevada County natives wanted to create a clothing brand that showcased artists with unique styles.
The dream started to materialize around a year and a half ago, when Verhasselt formed his business plan. And recently launched VLUX, a brand of clothing directed toward that dream, designed to showcase the artist.
Peterson and Young are childhood friends and had known Verhasselt through middle and high school in Nevada County. But as he is two years older, Verhasselt hadn't really connected with Peterson and Young as teenagers. But after graduating from Nevada Union High School, Peterson and Young headed for college in Santa Barbara, where Young entered into an art competition that just so happened to be held by Verhasselt.
“I have a vision of where I really want this to go.”
— Adam Vehasselt, VLUX Visual founder and CEO
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"I didn't know that this was the same Will I had known since I was like, 10," Verhasselt said. "I just thought that it was the coolest art in the competition."
They reconnected and began to work together, finding that they lived just minutes away from each other and that they had similar artistic styles.
"It can be seen by certain eyes as a little darker, with a still clean aesthetic," said Young.
'Meant to be'
The business plan affords only 99 duplicates of every T-shirt sold, and for only a month-long period. Each T-shirt includes the number out of the 99 shirts made that the customer purchased, as well as the artist's signature. The shirts are purchased online through VLUXVisual.com.
"Ultimately we'd like to create something closer to a designer brand that has very limited quantities of high-quality clothing," Verhasselt said.
Verhasselt, the founder and CEO, said he had been interested in art and clothing since a young age, and began to integrate himself into the practice by selling clothing while spending his junior year of high school in Italy at the age of 16. After graduating from Nevada Union, he studied film production, photography and art at Sierra College in Grass Valley and later business and graphic design at Santa Barbara City College. Young studies graphic design and Peterson business at the Santa Barbara school.
When he started to work with Peterson and Young, the transition was smooth, as they found they had similar styles as well as thought processes. Working so well together has made the business even more exciting, they said, as they feel more free to explore their abilities.
"It almost feels like, you know, it was meant to be," said Verhasselt. "Like, this was the sign that we should be working together on this project right now."
Peterson also plays a role in marketing efforts and business operations, while Young helps with production and creating new designs. The three hope to create a clothing brand that will not only showcase artists, hoping to get their name out into the world, but also attract more well-known artists or performers who want to contribute to the brand.
The limited-edition streetwear also supports the creative contributions financially, as half of the proceeds go to the participating artist. According to the website, those interested in collaborating can apply by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Opportunities for models and performers are also available.
"I have a vision of where I really want this to go," Verhasselt said. "So every suggestion that is made, or concept that is applied, is tested to see how well it can fuel that vision to get us closer to where we want to be."
Anjali Aiyana Figueira is a student at Forest Charter School in Nevada City and intern at The Union.
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