Let Us Introduce You: Dorrian Gordon

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Let Us Introduce You: Dorrian Gordon

Ryan Quinn

Ryan Quinn

Ryan Quinn

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Starting your own business is tough. Starting your own business while entering your freshman year of college – while also running cross-country and track and field – should be next to impossible. For Dorrian Gordon, an Illinois native and freshman at Saint Louis University, this is life. His motto, “stay limitless,” provides the best insight into his mentality—he lets nothing hold him back.

Like many college athletes, Gordon wanted to major in something that would allow him to stay involved in the athletic world after college, so he chose Athletic Training. However, he realized that his heart is in business. He says, “business has always been on my mind,” which is why he decided to switch to marketing.  He realized that a person should do what he loves, even if he is not sure of the outcome.

Gordon chose to combine his love for fashion and business to create an apparel company, which he dubbed “West Pine Apparel.” The name is cleverly taken from West Pine Boulevard — where the majority of the SLU campus is located. He wanted his apparel to have a trade mark, so he played around with some ideas. He knew right away that he wanted to call his company West Pine Apparel; because of this, he brainstormed using the Clock Tower as a trademark logo, but felt it was too generic. He says, “I was sitting in my room one day, procrastinating on my homework, and decided to draw pine cones.” The idea seemed perfect to him, and thus, the company was born.

His inspiration comes from within himself and his passion to help others. He wants to “grow up and be able to say [he] made a name for myself, and I created something that not only benefits me, but benefits others as well.” He emphasizes benefitting others, because that is what good business should be about. His ultimate goal is to “one day be able to give back to the community through [his] clothing,” by taking a portion of his profits and donating it to different charities.

His goal for his business is to branch out. Like most companies, he has started out small. Currently, he sells one style of t-shirt—a heather gray short-sleeved shirt with a front pocket that has the brand logo: a pine cone. He also sells stickers with the signature pine cone. He says, “Hopefully when it gets bigger I can make different things, like other clothing brands do.”

Any business owner faces challenges, especially one that is just starting out. One of Gordon’s challenges is getting more SLU students to buy his apparel. Interestingly enough, he has more non-SLU student buyers. While poor college students are hard to sell to, Gordon will not be discouraged, because “it is what I want, it is my goal.” He wants to have a successful business, and he will not give up until he gets there.

The biggest challenge Gordon has to overcome is the fear of rejection. He says, “It’s hard to have an idea that you are passionate about not work, but that’s just a risk you have to take sometimes in business.” He wants no regrets in life, and he knows that following his dreams will help him achieve that. Gordon’s attitude is something that anyone can learn from; it encourages people to follow their dreams, to live life with no regrets and to “stay limitless.”