Meet the MSU sophomore who makes more money than you
ADNS, from MSU dorm to up-and-coming clothing enterprise
On the way to classes, students may have seen stickers around MSU’s campus brandishing ADNS, probably without any knowledge that the letters are an acronym for a company- a clothing company that an MSU sophomore has been creating for years. We sat down with Justin Mensinger, the 19-year-old creator of ADNS, to interview him about the company.
“It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Justin said about the creation of his company. “I first tried to print out things you get at Walmart on shirts you get from Hobby Lobby. I had no idea what I was doing. When I was in high school, I really liked clothes, and I really liked shoes, and I would tell people that I was going to do it, and I tried to, but I didn’t really follow through on it.”
Justin lived in Michigan as a child, but then moved to Illinois and continued to move around a lot. When it came time to apply and decide colleges, Justin admits he didn’t really know what he was doing but Michigan State was in the running because the state in general “has a sense of home” to him. It was on campus at MSU his freshman year that he got the final push to create his brand.
“When I came here, I was with a kid I met at orientation, and someone he was with was talking about a brand and had a thing drawn out on their phone, and I started talking to him and wondering what he was trying to do; he never ended up making anything, but the fact that someone else had the same idea inspired me to follow mine.”
The brand ADNS, which stands for always dream, never sleep, officially launched in February of 2016. At first Justin said he only got an order every two weeks or so, but in recent months the website has started to pick up more sales which allows him to invest his time in working with others and money in investing in his company. Currently, his brand is aimed more at 18-24 year old urban men, but overtime he wants to refine the company into something that is universal, inclusive and unique. Along with the online store, he wants to open up stores in Chicago, LA and New York City.
“My end goal is to be like at least ten times as big as Ralph Lauren, but in a different sense. That’s how big I eventually want the brand to be, but I also want to keep the brand in my control, and what I plan to do is a lot different than brands I’ve seen: I never want to wholesale my stuff to other brands to sell it, the brands get diluted so fast, then no one knows what the brand was.
Just because ADNS is a company made out of a dorm, like many other successful enterprises, doesn’t make it any less unique. Justin taught himself the techniques it takes to create his clothing and learned most of it in less than five months. He has also moved across state lines. Items he can’t physically make himself, he designs and then contracts with a company in Silicon Valley to make so he can sew them to a garment.
“Everything is a trade off. The more I put into the brand, the more I have to make room for schoolwork and then the more I lose the things that don’t necessarily matter. I think it’s a beneficial process, because if you look at it and whats happening to my time management, the things that don’t matter to me and I shouldn’t be paying attention to are falling off.”
Keep a look out for ADNS growing on and off campus; on and off line. If you want to learn more about Justin, his message, and his brand, check out ADNS social media. And if you’re interested supporting a fellow student and in the line of products the brand offers, go to the ADNS website.