How to Start a Business & Manage College Life: A Chat with the Bro Entrepreneurs at Krass & Funnell
BroBible: When and why did you guys start Krass and Funnell?
Pierson Krass: We initially started talking about how cool it would be to have a clothing company when we met playing lacrosse back in high school. We didn’t like the athletic shorts that were out there, so that seemed like a perfect place to start.
Sam Funnell: It took us a couple years to get the shorts exactly how we wanted, and then last year was really our first year selling.
BB: What would you say is the best way to describe the mentality of your company?
SF: We just want to make clothes that we really like to wear and that our friends in high school and college will enjoy also…
PK: Then put the money back into the company to make new clothes or do other cool events and connect with our customers. For example, the other kids in Will (Will Lovallo, co-owner) and my fraternity love the shorts and almost everyone owns a pair, so we took a profit from the shorts, and threw an end of year BBQ/party.
What is your plan for expanding Krass and Funnell in the future?
PK: In the short term, we are going to release a women’s version of our athletic shorts. We are also in the process of finishing up some accessories and men’s t-shirts, which should be pretty sick…
SF: Long-term, we want to become a full lifestyle brand for kids like us who our athletic, like to dress nice, and have a good time.
BB: What makes you guys stand out from other brands like you?
PK: I think that one thing that makes us stand out is that we are our target demographic. We’re in the unique position of making clothes for ourselves.
SF: As far as athletic shorts go, I would say due to cut and material ours are some of the most comfortable on the market. Then secondly, there is no other company that makes athletic shorts that look like ours, stylish but not loud.
BB: What are your guys plans for the summer?
SF: We’ll be traveling around to various lacrosse tournaments to set up booths. I’ll also be going back and forth between New Hampshire, Cape Cod, and the Hamptons.
PK: I'll be living at Lehigh and working every day. Probably going to try and go up to the Cape and into NYC for a couple weekends.
BB: What other clothing brands gave you inspiration for your products?
SF: You have to appreciate what the guys at Vineyard Vines did (and are still doing). They killed it. Their success over the past years gave us the inspiration that we could do the same.
PK: I’m most inspired by action sports related clothing brands. They tend to be founded by the athletes for the athlete, and that mentality is something that we want to carry with us with Krass & Funnell. Also they tend to be much more connected to the consumer by really opening the company up to them via social media, contests, etc. which is something we want to replicate as well.
BB: What do you guys do in your spare time?
PK: Mostly going out at night and chilling with friends. I also really like freestyle skiing and other action sports.
SF: I like to play lacrosse and hockey as well as hang out on the beach. Also despite being terrible at it, I enjoy golfing. I’m also a big time sports fan, so I always try to catch a good college football, basketball, NFL, or NHL game if it’s on.
BB: What would you say is the best part of running your own company while still in college?
SF – Pierson will talk about all the girls that he gets because of it, but I don’t really buy into that. For me, the best part is that it gets my parents to give me a little more leeway on my GPA being a little lower than they would like.
PK: Haha I’ve literally never said that. Personally even though we’re still in school the ability to not have a summer job/internship and just do my own thing is pretty awesome.
BB: When you think of Krass and Funnell shorts, where do you see them being worn; on a beach, or on the field, or both?
SF – I think the unique thing about our shorts is that due to the style, cut and material they can be worn in both of those places. In addition they have a classier preppy look, which makes them great shorts to wear to class or even out at night with a button down.
BB: What’s your favorite type of music? Which one of you three has the worst taste in music?
SF: Pierson and Will are absolutely going to say that I have the worst taste in music because I listen to country instead of electro or rap. My favorites right now are probably Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown, and Eric Church.
PK: I listen to a lot of house and other electro like SHM, Deniz Koyu, Tommy Trash, Afrojack, etc. I actually just went to EDC NY the other week with a bunch of friends, which was insane. And yeah Sam’s music taste sucks, definitely the worst.
BB: How do you balance running Krass and Funnell and your college life?
PK: Very poorly, it occasionally results in the retaking of classes. But obviously Krass & Funnell has to come first before everything else. Then the question is whether school work or partying comes second, and that’s obvious.
SF: Pierson does most of the day to day stuff so for the most part I’ve been able to have a pretty normal college life.
BB: Being in college still, do you have a favorite drinking game?
PK: Beirip, for those who don’t know it’s a combination of ruit and flip cup. If you have a good crew playing it can get pretty crazy.
SF: It’s a classic for a reason, I’m going to go with pong.
BB: Marry, F*ck, Kill. Kate Upton, Megan Fox, or Kim Kardashian?
PK: Marry Kate for sure. The other two is a bit of a toss up, if I f*ck Kim I might get a cameo on her show so that could be cool? Sam isn’t allowed to play, he’s wifed up.
SF: True, I probably shouldn’t, but Kim is so annoying I’d kill her twice.
BB: Any last words for our readers?
PK: All we can ask is that you check out our shorts and grab a pair for the summer. If you don’t like them, send them back.
SF: And don’t forget to use the discount code “brobible” at checkout for 20% off your order.