“People loved the comfort of the shirts and the quality of what I do. I also get a lot of people liking me and what I do compared to other clothing brands.
“Moonstruck Customs is just about spreading positivity. I started it so that I could give people the opportunity to buy people gifts and through that spread happiness. If getting a shirt makes you happy, then go for it. I just want to spread the positivity.
This is Kayda Loney, owner and operator of Moonstruck Customs, a clothing printing company.
“I offer custom t-shirts, crewnecks, and hoodies in the style, size, and colors the customer wants,” says Loney.
“I always thought about owning my own retail store, whatever it was. I’m just a huge fan of fashion and for a long time I would look at something and think “it would look really good on a shirt”, and that design or idea wouldn’t exist or it would be really expensive.
Loney continues, “I know there are people who think like me who want something specialized on their clothes to represent who you are and you can’t really understand that, so I wanted to be the person who can do that. it happen for me and for others.
Loney says the idea began to form during a trip to Wasaga Beach two years ago.
“They have a store there that looks like what I do and it was an idea that stuck with me for about two years because I kept thinking it would be such a fun job.”
Loney says what motivated her to start was participating in the Summer Company program, run by the Nipissing Parry Sound Business Center.
“I found out about Summer Company through my brother because he took the program a few years ago. I told him that I really wanted to start this business, but I didn’t have enough money for it and didn’t know enough about starting a business. He told me to go through Summer Company and they will groom me and even give me money to help me get started.
Loney says she was accepted for the program and started learning how to run a business.
So I thought, why not give it a try and I was accepted.
“I laid out all my expenses and realized that I wouldn’t have enough money for everything I needed to run the business. Summer Company helped me cover that. But once I got everything I needed, I had no idea how to run a business. We had several zoom calls where Summer Company went over everything like marketing and branding etc. I had no idea what these things involved, but now I do. It really allowed me to grow as a person and my business.
Loney says the biggest revelation was insurance.
I didn’t know I would need my own liability insurance, it totally went over my head.
Loney says that over the past few months the business has allowed him to grow as an individual and a business owner.
“I remember the first t-shirt I made, I did it with an iron and expensive transfer paper and I ended up burning it and it looked awful,” she says .
“Now it’s something I’ve learned and it’ll never be a problem I have to deal with again. Getting to know the ins and outs of perfecting this process has been a joy.
Entering grade 12 in September at the Laurentian Learning Center, Loney says she will continue to operate the business during the school year.
“I’m going to keep doing this on the side when I go back to school in September, and later on hopefully I can do something full time where I can work for myself, but right now I’m concentrating at the end of his studies.
Loney says she’s discovering the benefits of being her own boss.
“I love that if you own your own business and do it full time, you can still live your life. You don’t have to wait to come in and go out at a 9 to 5 pace, you can take a week off and still earning that passive income,” she says.
Loney says she can craft her items at a fast pace.
“I need to have the image someone wants on the shirt, and I would need to know the size and color and if it’s a hoodie, a collar round or a t-shirt. Then I print the image on a special transfer paper and then I have to let the ink sit on it for half an hour,” she says.
“From there I have to start the heat press and those two steps take about 45 minutes in total, but then it takes 24 hours for everything to stabilize. But our turnaround time from when you order something to when you receive it is usually 2-3 days.
And she is successful with this start-up.
“People loved the comfort of the shirts and the quality of what I do. I also get a lot of people liking me and what I do compared to other clothing brands,” she says.
“It’s about personalizing each item for each person who orders something. Instead of having a bunch of pre-made prints, you walk in and I can make this garment look whatever you want, with a picture of your dog or whatever you want to do.
Loney says her advice to other young entrepreneurs is to have a positive mindset and be realistic about your goals.
“My advice is to do a few days of research on what you want to do and then look for opportunities to get you started. The fact is, no business has ever opened and made a million sales. right away,” she said.
“When you open, you’ll probably get one or two sales a month, but eventually, if you grow it and get your brand and name out there through marketing, it will grow around you. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t don’t see progress right away, because every business had to start somewhere.”