“Serving no useful purpose” since the summer of 2010.
The slogan for Superfluous Clothing Inc. says a lot about the attitude behind the Web-based graphic T-shirt company founded by UF students Mike Dion and Jeff Spalding.
The official website, superfluousclothing.com, premiered in August, and they are working on making it more user-friendly, said Dion, a junior finance major and CFO of the company.
Spalding, a senior computer science major and CEO of the company, was eating with a friend in Tijuana Flats and noticed the bumper stickers that adorn the hot sauce bar. He said he pointed out how he finds bumper stickers obnoxious, and if he were to have one, it would say something pithy like, “This is a car” or “This is superfluous.”
The idea to own a graphic T-shirt store came later when the duo was in the mall discussing how few stores there were that they would actually want to shop in, Dion said.
“Everyone thought we were kidding,” he said.
Recently, the pair has been entering their designs in contests hosted by popular T-shirt websites such as WOOT and Threadless. Although they have yet to have one printed through one of these hosts, their submissions have been highly rated, Spalding said.
The shirts generally feature humorous sayings, though some are more design influenced. The shirts range from $15 to $20 each.
Most of the original shirt designs were done with flex printing, meaning the designs are printed on a foil and burned into the shirt. This ensures the design lasts longer than the less expensive digital printing standard, Spalding said.
“When you get a Superfluous shirt, you get a good quality shirt,” Dion said.
So far, the shirts have been sold to friends and by word-of-mouth from social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. Recent UF graduate Seiya Miyazaki said he heard about Superfluous Clothing after the company followed him on Twitter.
“I thought the shirts were hilarious,” he said. “I bought one that says, ‘If you’re also wearing this shirt we must high five,’ and I’ve gotten some compliments on it just wearing it around.”
Dion said they don’t have plans to expand beyond the website, although they would like to eventually act as a distributor for their shirts to be sold in stores.
“Even if this never gets any farther off the ground, I will still contend that the idea of Superfluous Clothing is a good idea,” Spalding said.