HOLLAND — Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new business has launched in Holland.
The online-based store is called Hot Mess Marketplace — and it’s run by residents Elisa Grzybowski and Kate DeForest.
“We’ve been best friends for a few years now,” Grzybowski said. “We spend most of our time together, so we decided to do something creative.
“Kate came to me with the idea of designing graphic shirts. It’s a big thing these days. We both have creative sides and we decided, why not?”
Thus began development of the marketplace, which launched Sunday, Aug. 9.
“Our goal is to have a graphic T-shirt shop where anybody in any walk of life can find something that fits them,” Grzybowski said.
“I love buying graphic T-shirts and when I shop for them, I don’t often find that variety. We want somewhere that everyone can feel welcome and equal.”
According to DeForest, the mission is part of the girls’ personal journey.
“Our life goal is to love all people and feel like we can include all people in our lives,” she said. “And we feel that translates very well to our business.”
Shirts at Hot Mess Marketplace are sized XS through 4XL.
“We don’t charge extra for size,” Grzybowski said. “We think any woman or man, in any shape or size, should be able to find shirts that fit them.”
During the day, Grzybowski is a full-time photographer, while DeForest manages a group home for adults with her husband in Zeeland.
Someday, the friends said, having a brick-and-mortar storefront would be amazing.
“But we’re definitely focusing online right now,” Grzybowski said. “We have a lot of ideas up our sleeves for the website. And I think, right now, especially with COVID, shopping online is what everybody is doing.”
For just a week in, business is booming.
“It’s going really well,” DeForest said. “We’re doing better than we anticipated. We’ve had a lot of people reaching out, not only to purchase things from our website but also for custom designs. It’s been fun.”
Orders can be placed online at hotmessmarketplace.com. Follow the business on Facebook or Instagram @hotmessmarketplace.