SDSU student launches up and coming business, Strictly SoCal

Grant Haferkamp has invested an estimate of $7,600 in his merchandise business

Strictly SoCal owner, Grant Haferkamp, wearing the Strictly SoCal trucker hat and new product, the Strictly SoCal t-shirt.

Photo Courtesy: Grant Haferkamp

Strictly SoCal owner, Grant Haferkamp, wearing the Strictly SoCal trucker hat and new product, the Strictly SoCal t-shirt.

by Adam Correa, Senior Staff Writer

In early August, sophomore Grant Haferkamp released his merchandise business called Strictly SoCal in Encinitas, California. The message behind creating his business was to show how Southern California is the best place to live. 

“I think SoCal is the best place on Earth in terms of the best beaches, best sunsets and best vibes,” Haferkamp, a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, said.

“I thought it would be cool to make something that people could represent.” 

Haferkamp started designing the logo back in May 2022 and said he kept his business a secret from everyone until the official launch in August.

Although the business started in Encinitas, he brought Strictly SoCal to SDSU to get college students to represent his brand.

The 19-year-old said saving up his money from high school graduation and part time jobs over the years was well worth the investment.

“I would call myself a big entrepreneur and have a lot of confidence in myself for what I do,” he said. “I did DoorDash and Uber Eats on the side and that is how I funded it.”

Haferkamp has invested approximately $7,600 of his own money into the business that sells hats, stickers and new product shirts.

His Strictly SoCal trucker hats, which come in pink, orange, blue, and white cost $19.99 on strictlysocal.com and $15 if you buy it in person.

Strictly SoCal has sold about 160 hats and has made around $500 in profit.

KINI Supply Company, based in La Jolla, California, embroiders all of Strictly SoCal’s hat designs and screen prints their shirt designs as well.

The shirt design has the Strictly SoCal logo on the front side and a destination sign for the Southern California coast on the back side, Haferkamp told The Daily Aztec.

The StrictlySoCal Southern California destination sign design for the back of the shirts (Photo Courtesy: Grant Haferkamp)

The Strictly SoCal shirts, which come in tan, gray, blue and white, cost $30 online and $25 in person.

Haferkamp said that he found designers using Fiverr (an online freelance service marketplace for business) to come up with designs for his shirts and business cards. 

KINI Supply Co. owner and visionary, Joanna Kinsman, said Haferkamp has been a joy to work with and the message of the brand is great.

“I love everything that the brand stands for,” Kinsman said. “I’ve just been so impressed by everything that they’ve done from an aesthetic standpoint.”

“They really are just emulating this very SoCal vibe, using all neon colors and it is just such a positive energy that makes you want to be a part of it,” she added.

Strictly SoCal promotes all of their business through social media and does not pay the people in the posts to promote, rather they give them free merchandise.

Sophomore Diego Valverde, a finance student at SDSU, who has helped feed ideas to Haferkamp for Strictly SoCal, said the business well represents Southern California.

“I think he’ll reach more people when he drops the shirts because the shirts kind of give a lot more of SoCal,” Valverde said. “If you look on his (Strictly SoCal’s) Instagram, a lot of the pictures are all at the beach and they show off California’s cool coast.”

Since the shirts are now released on Strictly SoCal’s website, Haferkamp has some new merchandise ideas lined up.

“I’m thinking of an air freshener for your car and koozies for a drink; those are the two I’ve been thinking about recently,” Haferkamp said. “As of now, the next step is probably sweatshirts.”

He also reached out to sororities at SDSU to do a collaboration that would put their Greek symbol on the back of the Strictly SoCal hats. Each hat would be sold for $20 and 10% of each sale would go back to the sorority chapter.

Haferkamp wants to reach out to pop up shops, surf shops along the Southern California coast, and enter into retail in the near future.