Sean Childers loves a challenge.
When the NIL Store graphic artist was tasked to come up with a unique design for Purdue men’s basketball star, Zach Edey, Childers visualized exactly what he wanted to depict.
Due to his Canadian roots and 7-foot-4 stature, Edey is affectionately known as the “Big Maple.” So it was inevitable that the pancake topper needed to be included on the merch.
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The ideation was easy. He wanted to spell out “Big Maple” in a font that looked like syrup.
The only problem? It’s difficult to find a font that actually resembles syrup!
So, being a 21-year-old, Childers went to the place every young person goes when they need a bottle of syrup: mom’s house.
He grabbed a piece of paper and started to write with the syrup, but it wasn’t quite working.
“The viscosity wasn’t quite what it needed to be,” Childers said with a laugh.
So then he tried honey. (His mom made sure to remind him that honey was expensive).
It turned out to be the winner.
He did a few more passes over the text, then took a picture and manipulated it a bit more in photoshop.
“I love how much everyone loved it,” Childers said. “It was fun to do.”
A Cold Email Changes Everything
Prior to joining Campus Ink, Childers had previously started his own NIL merchandising company and was running into many of the same challenges the NIL Store had once battled in its infancy.
Amidst all the administrative work that comes with running a company, Childers yearned to do what he truly loved: create incredible product-focused merch to help athletes succeed.
He had taken note of Campus Ink and the NIL Store, and ultimately crafted a cold email over the course of two weeks to send to CEO Steven Farag.
“I just reached a point where I was like, ‘These guys are getting all these schools, they are getting all these players. Let’s go be a part of it,’” Childers said.
Farag was immediately drawn to Childers’ entrepreneurial makeup. After talking to a few other members of the team, Childers was brought on full-time.
Since joining the team, Childers has already pumped out countless designs. Among those designs was “Big Maple,” which was loved by Purdue fans.
Childers will be “in the lab” throughout Merch Madness, ready to drop incredible new merch at the next big moment.