By Todd Shields
Pioneer Press Newspapers, Suburban Chicago
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) High school junior Lillian Murphy recently talked with Pioneer Press about starting “RADD-Tees” and her experience taking business incubator classes at Barrington High School.
Lillian Murphy, a junior at Barrington High School, worked alongside a few other classmates to create a T-shirt company that recently earned a local recognition.
Murphy and fellow BHS students Max Raynor, Mark Di Iorio, Rebecca Cheeseman, Rebekah Peter and Isabella Urquhart founded RADD-Tees Inc., a company that uses art designs from students to make T-shirts and then gives part of the proceeds to high school art departments.
On Jan. 18, the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce recognized the students with its “Young Entrepreneurs” award during the chamber’s annual awards dinner.
Murphy recently talked with Pioneer Press about starting RADD-Tees and her experience taking business incubator classes at Barrington High School.
Q: Can you talk more about RADD-Tees Inc.?
A: We formed it in February 2017, and we were talking about how some schools in Chicago did not have good art programs. We decided to create our company to help these programs while spreading teenage art around. So, the T-shirts are printed with the art of high school students. We’ve connected with eight schools around Chicago and sold about 50 shirts.
Q: How’s the business going?
A: We’re a startup, and we’ve had challenges. It’s been hard for us to get going. As teens, balancing the whole company can be stressful, but we’re finding out how to do it through compromising our ideas. From that, it has taught us so much regarding marketing strategies and leadership skills. It has been a great opportunity. We’ve received about 100 art submissions and not quite 100 percent were printed up for shirts.
Q: Why did you get involved in a startup business?
A: I love entrepreneurship and I always did as a child. I ran a business that made duct-tape products, like wallets, notebooks and pens that I sold to classmates when I went to Grove Elementary School and Middle School Station Campus, both in Barrington. I gave 18 percent of the proceeds to WINGS, a domestic violence program in Palatine. I love expressing my ideas while making money from them.
Q: Are you thinking about college?
A: Yes, I’d like to study international business and minor in finance. I’m really involved in leadership training outside Barrington High School in Jewish Teen Alliance of Chicago, and I’m president of my youth group at West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest. At Barrington High School, I’m on the She Deserves Club, which helps women in need around the country and Interact Club. We help with various charity projects around Barrington.