From friends to business partners: two Saddleback College students create their own line of clothing

NVNT Clothing (Courtesy of Michael Palomares)

Chelsea Jarrell

Right in the midst of the summer and surf, a budding business emerged when Saddleback College students Michael Palomares and Josh Nuzzi combined their skills of photography and T-shirt printing. These creative and business-minded friends determined to challenge themselves by starting a company.

Palomares and Nuzzi met junior year in high school and continue to be friends through attending Saddleback. Their surf inspired So-Cal clothing brand is called NVNT or “Invent Yourself.” They thought of the idea as both realized it would take more than just their combined talents to get a clothing company started.

 “We’re using the talents of others,” says Palomares. “It gives people an opportunity to invent themselves as they help us with things we need as a company.” Currently the pair have help with web design, clothing design, modeling, videography, and photography.

Palomares and Nuzzi are managing the company alongside school. Transferring from Saddleback to Fullerton to major in Economics and International Business respectively is both on their list of goals. For now, their start up is a fun and frivolous pursuit. Luckily Nuzzi’s t-shirt printing knowledge is what has made the t-shirt company a reality so far.

“Michael has always been my friend, but I never thought we would be business partners,” says Nuzzi. “My job is managing design, web and my T-shirt printing company handles that kind of stuff.” Designing merchandise for the company’s events is also Nuzzi’s responsibility. They both have been regularly hosting body boarding contests down at Salt Creek beach and selling shirts.

“If there is a kid that we think possesses the right talent, we sponsor them with free shirts, stickers, and pay their contest entry fees,” says Palomares. “Our first [sponsored athlete] is a kid named Luke who has proven himself to be a really talented body boarder.” Their goal is to find a few more talented athletes to sponsor by the end of the year.

This past weekend NVNT made an appearance at the BIA body boarding contest in Huntington Beach. The two friends had a blast giving away stickers and helping kids stick them on their boards. “It’s pretty rewarding to see our logo out there in the water,” says Nuzzi. “Our brand represents fun and that’s what this is really all about.” 

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