Albert Lea native starts Christian merchandise company

Published 6:05 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Travis Jensen goes to school at Bethel University, but he is still making an impact in the local community.

The business marketing and communications student started Travco Christian Streetwear last August out of his dorm room.

“I sell Christian merchandise including hoodies, T-shirts, crewnecks, long sleeves — looking to get more into exercise clothing as well,” he said.

In doing this, his goal is to spread the message of Jesus Christ.

“Before I started my clothing brand, I noticed a lot of secularism, darkness in the world,” he said. “I noticed it was really creeping up, especially in the last two years.”

So he wanted to bring Jesus back to the world by designing clothing that was “simple, straight to the point” that could inspire others to be closer to God. 

Currently, Jensen is the only employee, and after ordering blank clothes he will press them.

“I do everything from the pressing of the shirts all the way to the shipping of the shirts,” he said. “I do every base, the website design, the designs themselves, everything.”

Running his own company has taught him how people work, specifically what inspires and motivates them. He also admitted how being personable has a “huge” impact on sales and spreading a brand name.

He has also learned the importance of understanding his clients.

“My niche is, say, 15-year-olds all the way up to 35-year-olds, so you hit the neutral colors, the simple designs,” he said. “Truly understanding what your niche wants has a huge impact on growth.”

He admitted on the production end of the business there have been problems with developing solid presses.

“When you’re dealing with ink you make a lot of mess,” he said. “You press the wrong stuff, like you do the wrong side, wrong logo on something, the list goes on and on.” 

He admitted he was learning new ways to expand the business, which by his estimations he works on 90 minutes to six to seven hours each day.

“I’ve put countless hours in every day just working on growing a business and ways I can grow, so that’s been really fun,” he said. “It’s my biggest passion. I spend hours [each day] working on this business and growing it, and I couldn’t be more thankful.” 

Since the end of the semester, Jensen moved his operation to the basement of his house in Albert Lea, though he plans to move it back to Bethel when he returns for his senior year. After graduation, he said did not know where it would go, but he wanted to continue expanding it.  

“I would definitely like to grow it and expand it, Lord willing,” he said.

Jensen admitted to being surprised by the local support.

“I’ve been blown away by the amount of support I’ve received from people and the amount of repeat customers I’ve had,” he said. “ It’s been very nice.”

Jensen’s next goal is to market his clothing to the rest of the country, and he recently had his first international order, something he described as a “big milestone.”

“I sold to Canada, and I’m currently in the process of selling one to the United Kingdom as well,” he said.

Travco Christian Clothing can be purchased at Man Between the Lakes.

“I was just walking through the store one day, and I really liked the vibe,” he said. “I really liked the neutral colors and just the atmosphere of it looked really cool.”

So in January he walked up to the cashier and asked if he could sell his clothing. 

He’s also selling at Seedlings Gifts & Books in Chanhassen.

His items are available online at https://travco.shop.