When Jason Preston arrived at Bradley, he said he was surprised to find there was a limited amount of places to purchase Bradley apparel.
“I grew up by the University of Illinois, so I was used to being able to get anything in orange and blue,” the former Bradley student said. “When I got to Peoria, there were challenges with finding a good variety of Bradley merchandise.”
That’s why he created Bradley Stuff, a Web business that sells Bradley apparel and merchandise. Preston graduated in 1995, but said he came up with the idea of the business when he was a freshman and the business took off in 1996.
“We provide a new variety of Bradley-licensed merchandise for men, women, youth and babies to the BU community,” he said. “Our stuff includes apparel, but also gear like bags, golf-related items and caps.”
The Web site is not only a place for business – it also meant to keep alumni connected to what is going around campus.
“With the growth of online interactions, I also saw Bradley Stuff as an opportunity to facilitate keeping the Bradley community connected,” Preston said. “I try to do this through our merchandise as well as through networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, BradleyFans.com, etc.”
The Web site also supplies links to organizations such as the Scout, alumni associations, the athletic department and Bradley fans.
Preston said his main customer base is made up of alumni, but the merchandise and prices appeal to students as well.
“After graduating and leaving Peoria, I found there is not a lot of availability of Bradley merchandise – even online,” he said. “In Peoria, it is hard to find quality BU merchandise away from campus. And on campus, things are largely available only during core business hours – not geared to out-of-town alumni schedules.”
Preston also said the business can work with groups on campus.
“In addition to the items promoted on the Web site, we are also glad to work with people on special orders, such as promoting an alumni group get-together or simply to wear with pride that you’ve got an MBA from Bradley,” he said.
He said Bradley Stuff has also worked with the university and individual departments, such as athletics.
“We also partnered earlier this year with the BU Alumni Association to create the ‘Team Glasser’ breast cancer awareness shirts to increase awareness about breast cancer and cancer research, while also showing unity with [University] President [Joanne] Glasser and the Bradley community,” Preston said.
Bradley Stuff is currently gearing up merchandise for basketball season, the winter and the holidays. Items can be purchased on www.BradleyStuff.com.