Student creates clothing line based on love of outdoors
“Love. Life. Outdoors.”
Those three words have inspired marketing junior Braden Cleary in many ways. One of those ways has been becoming a co-founder of a successful three-year-old clothing company named TheMountCo.
Growing up, Cleary said he spent most of his time outdoors with activities that included skiing and baseball, before he transformed his passion into a brand.
“We started just by selling to our friends and our family, kind of like the way a lot of these little companies start,” Cleary said. “We now have at least one product in all 50 states and nine different countries and it has all been through social media promotion.”
The brand’s recognizable logo, The Bearded Man, can be spotted from across a room and can be seen on shirts, water bottles, hats and more.
Cleary said his lifelong passion for skiing inspired him to create TheMountCo. Cleary has been skiing since he was young and said his involvement with the MSU Alpine Ski and Snowboard Team has motivated him.
“I started racing when I was probably eight or nine and that has been my favorite sport ever since I started,” Cleary said. “I dabbled with a little bit of baseball in high school but ... my life revolves around skiing for the most part.”
Cleary said the company has grown greatly since it started.
“The coolest thing is having friends being out in some different state and being like, ‘Dude, I just saw your company walking around, that was really cool to see,’ and that is one of the most rewarding things for me,” Cleary said. “Also, seeing people walk around campus with it and me actually seeing it and (them) not knowing I am involved with that is pretty cool as well.”
He said he hopes to put his major to good use after graduation. He plans to work at his company full-time during the summer and graduate with it as a career.
“I want to expand the brand and get into different products and create new stuff ... continuing to spread the legend of The Bearded Man, which is what we like to say, and also promote more of the national parks," Cleary said. "We are working to become official partners with the National Park Service. Last year we promoted the centennial of the National Park Service by taking The Bearded Man to virtually all 58 national parks.”
Supply chain management junior Rudy Borland met Cleary through the ski team when he began his freshman year. Borland said he has been skiing for about 19 years and owns several items from TheMountCo.
“If he is ever looking for an opinion on something new he is working on, he will come to me,” Borland said. “The whole emphasis of nature and ‘Love. Life. Outdoors,’ I feel like there is no other brand that (puts) emphasis on that ... he thought of everything from scratch, made the logo himself and it’s just his passion. ... That kid has the craziest work ethic I have ever seen.”