The Salty Captain Lifestyle
Ron Gaboury is a senior here at the Mount, majoring in accounting with a business minor. He is involved in the Accounting Club, while also being a Sergeant at Arms of the MSMU Brewing Club. While most of us like to spend our free time taking a nap, trolling the internet, or taking another nap, Ron decided to create his own clothing line.
“I actually came up with the idea during one of my night classes,” he said, “I wasn’t paying much attention to the lecture, which was probably important, now that I think about it. But that was the evening I coined the name and logo for my brand.”
Ron currently lives in Toms River, New Jersey, and a drive to the beach is merely ten minutes from his house. The ocean played a significant role in his upbringing, and so it was important to him that his appreciations for fishing, surfing, and swimming were reflected in his company. While he would have loved to start a surfboard or fishing brand, Ron ultimately decided to create a clothing line because it proved to be economically practical for him.
“I chose Salty Captain because I thought it truly brought together all of these things that I love about the easy-going lifestyle New Jersey has to offer,” Ron said.
As soon as he created a few designs, he got to work on getting his shirts made. 95% of the designs were created by Ron, all of which are hand drawn. He also created an Instagram account and website in order to market his brand on a broader scale. Most of the photography and videos for both his brand’s Instagram page and website are also captured and produced by Ron. His business classes at The Mount, particularly Marketing and Intro to Business, have also prepared him in his entrepreneurship, as each helped him realize that the best time to start a business is right now.
“You just have to do it now,” he says, “There is no time to put it off, especially in today’s business world, where advertising is free.”
Operating his own business while being a full-time college student can be stressful at times, but Ron says he has learned a great deal through the experience.
“The hardest part about running the brand while in college is the lack of money, so I learned that I really have to pick and choose the right things to invest my money in. Promotion, for example, is a promising investment.” Word of mouth, he says, is one of the most effective ways he promotes his brand. “I will often purchase Salty Captain stickers and beer coozies and pass them around to people on campus. I’ve learned that this is a great way for me to build a following on campus.”
Although his clothing company is thriving, Ron’s ultimate goal is to open up his own brewing company one day. This vision, however, would be unfeasible if it weren’t for the encouragement of some of his professors. Dr. Flynn and Dr. Patterson have offered an immense amount of support for both Ron and his brand. Dr. Patterson, the faculty advisor for the MSMU Brewing Club, allows his executive members to influence the future of the club. Since Ron is a Sergeant of Arms, and executive member position, he has had the opportunity to be involved in these plans for the Brewing Club.
“I will also be doing some photography for the club as well as running our club’s Instagram page,” which he hopes will allow him to gain experience in the realm of social media marketing.
Ultimately, he says that “the idea is to use my clothing line as a platform to get brand recognition and then turn it into something else later down the road. What I would really like to do is open Salty Captain Brewing Company and brew all sorts of different beer.” Ron hopes that, through his involvement with the MSMU Brewing Club and with the help from his professors, he will be able to learn and acquire the important tools needed to become a successful brewer.
So, moral of the story? Doodle in class. You may just create your own brand one day.
Feature article written by:
Class of 2017