By Nora Crumley
In 2012 at a track meet, a group of friends started yelling a new phrase that would soon mean more then just a motivational cheer.
The group started yelling “Get it Poppin” at one of their friends (and future business partners) as he sprinted around the final turn. The phrase stuck and “Get it Poppin” became not only a Night League name, but an anthem of motivation.
Alex Greenberg, one of the founding members of Get it Poppin and head of public relations, said about the phrase “it became a phrase that we would yell to motivate each other to do what we love, push harder, and strive for greatness.”
Although the friends graduated in 2015, the phrase and lifestyle of “Get it Poppin” did not fade away, even after the friends stopped racing at NT track meets or playing basketball on Wednesday nights. Instead “Get it Poppin” lives on as the name of a clothing store and e-commerce website the group created.
“The first time we printed clothes with Get it Poppin was for our Night League jerseys and those were a wild success so this summer we took it from there,” Charlie Pearlman, COO of Get it Poppin, said.
This past summer six of the original nine friends took their clothing designs to the next level. No longer was this a casual T-Shirt sale out of their dorm rooms, as CEO Charlie Goldberg did last year. They talked to lawyers, created an LLC, built a website, and had a pop-up shop in the West Loop.
Goldberg, who currently is a Sophomore at Davidson College and is CEO of the company, described the process.
“We set a few deadlines for when we wanted to release projects, we linked up with a lawyer to form an LLC, which is just a type of business certification, and with that we started logging things and taking it a little more seriously then selling shirts out of dorm rooms.”
They started the process of creating a company early last summer and by August they had set up a pop-up shop in the West Loop.
“Throughout the whole process, we were always excited about what we were doing but we never had the proof that it would work out. The pop-up shop blew out of the water all of my expectations,” Pearlman said.
“We sold to so many people in downtown Chicago and found a whole new audience. From meeting us in the street to 15 minutes later when they made the purchase, they had gone from people twho had never heard of GIP to big supporters who follow us on Instagram and Facebook.”
Goldberg added, “We had so many people come to the shop we sold out of everything at the end of the first week. It’s just a really cool learning experience, and it’s cool seeing our ideas come to life, our hard work comes together.”
With their first major success, the group quickly got together to launch a new line in January. The new line expands beyond T-shirts including windbreakers, sweatshirts and hats.
“We went a little more experimental with this line by doing more technical gear such as windbreakers, sweatshirts, and winter hats. Sales have been gone really well,” Greenberg said.
“We are at the point where we are trying to take our current audience and expand that into a newer audience through our social media outreach and word of mouth marketing.”
Goldberg added that sales of the new linewas released in January, and the first two releases, the store and the restock, both sold out.
“We’ve been turning a consistent profit and received venture funding.”
Get it Poppin did receive venture funding from Davidson College, where Goldberg attends. Along with the funding, the group uses all their sale profits and reinvests them back into the company to foster growth.
Despite the company’s success, Goldberg shared a positive message about his experience creating Get it Poppin,
“We could stop selling clothes tomorrow but we still learned a lot and built a business this far.”