The North Bend Eagle

 

Entrepreneur Hall finds a way to make art her life

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 9/27/17

Eliss Hall didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. The 2006 graduate of North Bend Central went to the University of Nebraska at Omaha for five years, graduating with a degree in business, general studies and a minor in exercise science. “College was never for me,” Hall, 29, said. “Everything I wanted to do wasn’t something that college helped with. I’m more of a doer. I basically went to college to make my parents happy.”

36apparel
Eliss Hall works at silk screen printing a T-shirt. She has her ‘home office’ in North Bend.

Hall wishes there would have been the programs in entrepreneurship when she was there that are now available in UNO.

She remembers NBC art teacher Dan Wright telling her that if she didn’t do something in art it would be a shame.

“That kind of motivated me a little bit,” Hall said. “Art is something I’ve always been passionate about, but you do have that stigma that you can’t make money doing art.”

Hall was involved in the martial arts for most of her life, teaching in her own school in North Bend until she turned 21. After graduation, Hall took a job with 24 Hour Fitness in corporate fitness.

Hall helped some friends open a crossfit gym, Fit Farm, in 2013. She would design shirts for the gym, and they would out source them to be printed.

“I could probably just do that,” Hall said she thought. “So it started off with a couple of Fit Farm shirts.”

Friends asked her to make a shirt to wear at a crossfit competition. And so it took off.

The first shirt had only one color that she did out of her loft apartment in midtown Omaha.

“It was a learning process,” Hall said. “I even cured it in my oven because that is how you get the ink to stay.”

Sales soon grew, surprising Hall how quickly it caught fire.

She then moved to a house and set up a six-screen press in the basement. Things started moving fast then.

“I started making more designs,” Hall said. “It started out with me and my friends saying silly things, coming up with silly designs.”

She started going to crossfit competitions to sell her shirts.

Crossfit is a high-intensity fitness program incorporating elements from several sports and types of exercise. It was first introduced in 2000 and has grown rapidly. Hall describes it as constantly varied functional fitness.

The T-shirt screen printing continued to be a side job while she kept her job as a trainer. It has now become her full-time job, with her training job just taking four to five hours a week.

Hall travels every weekend to different competitions, taking 200 to 300 shirts to sell. In August she was at meets in California, Oklahoma, Colorado as well as Lincoln.

She will take her own shirt design but also will take custom orders, which are just a fraction of her business.

“My focus for my athletes is to get them comfortable shirts, that are long enough so that its not going to move too much on them, they breathe and also absorb,” Hall said.

She get the high quality shirts from a supplier in Chicago. Most of her T-shirts are sold for $25.

Hall has online sales 36apparel.com, which generates about 25 percent of her sales.

“It’s constantly growing,” Hall said. “I do all my marketing with social media.”

How did she get to North Bend?

 

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