Sophomore Anthony Nguyen Collaborates With Madison High School Students to Create Clothing Brand

The+Bonjo+hoodie+features+an+hourglass+design+with+the+brand%27s+slogan%2C+%22Don%27t+Die+Wondering%22+inside.
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Sophomore Anthony Nguyen Collaborates With Madison High School Students to Create Clothing Brand

The Bonjo hoodie features an hourglass design with the brand's slogan,

The Bonjo hoodie features an hourglass design with the brand's slogan, "Don't Die Wondering" inside.

Photo courtesy of Anthony Nguyen.

The Bonjo hoodie features an hourglass design with the brand's slogan, "Don't Die Wondering" inside.

Photo courtesy of Anthony Nguyen.

Photo courtesy of Anthony Nguyen.

The Bonjo hoodie features an hourglass design with the brand's slogan, "Don't Die Wondering" inside.

By Ryan Cechini, La Salle Catholic College Preparatory

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Sophomore Anthony Nguyen has teamed up with Madison High School seniors Andy Tran, Gus Harquail, and Nguyen’s cousin, Duy Bui, to create their very own clothing brand: Bonjo.

The group of guys came up with their slogan, “Don’t Die Wondering”, and incorporated it into the logo for the brand. They want people to find their purpose in life no matter what so that they don’t regret missing an opportunity. The group, which is now selling shirts, hoodies, and beanies, wants to encourage people to live their dreams even if they seem crazy. 

Bonjo shirts are $14.99 and come in the colors black and white. Photo courtesy of Anthony Nguyen.

“Bonjo is not just about a clothing line,” Nguyen said. “We’re trying to sell you something else, which is that you’re taking a risk doing what you want, crossing off your bucket list, following through with your dream.”

They initially created the brand as a way to help fund their friend’s travel plans. But, in spite of their initial goal, they have turned the brand into much more than just a source of income.

When they first started, they printed six shirts on their own, thinking that even selling those would be difficult. However, to their surprise, they had 90 orders within the next two days. In order to keep up with the demand, they found a manufacturer in China to make and print their products.

Their first order of clothing from China, which they got in February, was made up of 130 shirts. These sold out almost immediately. The interest in their products showed the team that what they had created could become extremely successful.

“In Portland the clothing [industry] is really booming right now,” Nguyen said. “People are beginning to start their own clothing companies [just as we did]. But we think we’re special because it’s not just about the clothes, it’s not about the shirt, it’s about the message we bring to other people.”

La Salle sophomores Anthony Nguyen and Bradley Kiltow wearing Bonjo shirts.

“It’s way more than [just traveling] now. I want to start a camp and start a scholarship,” the founder Andy Tran said.  Tran says he has seen people who aren’t able to do what they love because of financial setbacks and hopes to use the company’s profits towards empowering those people.

The brand’s mission has shifted from helping their friend travel with them to helping underfunded people “live their best lives,” Nguyen said. This means giving them equal opportunities as people who do have the resources they need.

In the future, Tran would like to see Bonjo start to talk to people about their personal stories. “Now that we have an audience, we’re going to start asking people, ‘do you have any passions, what’s your story?’” Tran said. This is all in an attempt to build their Instagram page in a “Humans of NY”-esque style.

The brand has recently released their hoodies and beanies. Visit their Instagram page @bonjobrand to find out more!

This story was originally published on The La Salle Falconer on April 10, 2019.