“Spring Hill set me up for success by challenging me academically and giving me the life experiences I needed to prepare me for the real world,” said Sami Maurer, 2015 graduate.
Sami Maurer started designing and selling t-shirts while attending Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. Degrees in marketing and graphic design helped her grow her business into a thriving company that contributes to charities and supports local businesses in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.
The inspiration for her company, Series Six, came from southern t-shirt brands she saw while attending Spring Hill.
“I wanted to bring the same concept back to my hometown in the Midwest,” said Maurer. “St. Louisans have a lot of city pride and I knew that with the right designs and marketing efforts, St. Louis t-shirts would be big sellers.”
Several experiences during college contributed to Maurer’s business success.
“Spring Hill challenged me athletically on the volleyball court, spiritually through my Jesuit education and helped me create lifelong friendships,” she said.
A senior seminar project in graphic design helped her formulate plans to grow her business right after college, she said. She sold t-shirts at a St. Louis event less than a month after graduation.
An upper level business class required students to form an agency, giving Maurer “awesome hands-on experience” doing branding and marketing work for a ‘real-life’ client. A graphic design internship at Spring Hill College allowed her create designs for her own campus. Leadership, time management and teamwork skills came from playing on the Spring Hill volleyball team.
As a sophomore, Maurer decided to double major in business with a marketing focus, and graphic design. Professors in both the art department and business department at Spring Hill helped her map the classes and hours needed for both degrees, she said.
“The small class sizes allowed me to build personal relationships with teachers that were dedicated to the success of my individual academic journey,” she said.
Small classes also led Maurer to perfect her public speaking and presentation skills by forcing her to talk in front of an audience and voice her thoughts and arguments.
“There was no option other than to participate in class,” she said. “I especially appreciated how we were required to present each and every design project in front of the class. This is what happens in the real world and I know it made me more comfortable and confident.”
Her degrees helped Maurer land a competitive job right out of college, where she worked while developing her own business until ultimately Maurer left to lead Series Six full time, she said.
As a student, Spring Hill College’s Jesuit tradition of service to others allowed Maurer to participate in philanthropic events through her sorority, Phi Mu, and the volleyball team, and continues to impact her now.
“The idea of preparing students to be ‘men and women for and with others,’ has guided me in both my career and personal life,” she said.
Over the last year, Series Six collaborated on t-shirts with 10 local nonprofits, which are sold to raise money and awareness. The company also worked with more than 20 restaurants to create and sell tees that raised money for those affected by COVID-19. Since March 2020, the company raised more than $100,000 for local charities and businesses.
Maurer recently secured a partnership with Anheuser-Busch – her largest to date. Her long-term goal is to generate enough revenue to open a storefront to sell her apparel, while continuing to support the local community.
Her advice to current Spring Hill College students? Don’t limit your dreams to traditional jobs.
“It is easy to get caught up on the career that will make you the most money, and associate certain professions with being more stable than others,” she said. “With the free access to social media and the ability of content to go viral, there is more of an opportunity now than ever to make your own concept, business or brand go viral.”
“There is no reason you can’t make good money while also following your dreams,” Maurer said. “Keep dreaming big and pursuing what you’re passionate about even if you have to do so while working a 9-5 during the day.”
This article is part of the “Real World Ready” series about outstanding Spring Hill College students, alumni, faculty and administrators.