A Timpview High School student who markets his own line of sportswear wants to throw "Kaution" to the world.
When Scott Morrison, 18, bought Kaution Sportswear for $2,500 last June, the business was stagnant. The company sold six different T-shirts imprinted with the Kaution logo: a humanlike character seen on signs such as "Caution: Slippery When Wet.""Since I've taken it over, we've made it a lot more professional business," Morrison said.
Maybe that's one reason Morrison is a finalist in the 1991 Governor's Young Entrepreneur Search. The winner of the statewide contest will be announced Tuesday and receive a $10,000 prize.
Morrison added four more shirt designs, sweat pants, shorts and watches to his inventory. He's sunk about $10,000 into the company and said he expects to invest $5,000 more this year.
Sales have been fairly good in the local market. Morrison said he's sold about $3,000 worth of merchandise. He hires his friends to sell at school. And one can find the colorful logo and its variations at Seven Peaks Resort Water Park, Leisure Zone in the University Mall and the Brigham Young University bookstore.
But Morrison wants to increase his exposure. He recently sent brochures to 30 U.S. locations. A North Carolina bookstore put in an order. Morrison has sold some sportswear in Idaho and California, which is probably the most saturated T-shirt market in the nation. The teenage entrepreneur also has his eye on the global market.
"Right now that's my big goal, to get some international look," he said.
Morrison doesn't lack ambition - even though he's had a setback or two.
When he was 15, he persuaded his father, Douglas, to help him get a $3,000 loan to buy a ski accessory shop. Morrison went out of business six month later. He lost $1,000 and still had to pay off the loan. Morrison worked three jobs simultaneously to do it.
"One thousand dollars is well worth it because I could not have taken $1,000 worth of college to learn what I learned," Morrison said.
His next venture, a lawn-care business with a friend, was much more profitable. Morrison said the "scores of bucks" he made allowed him to buy Kaution Sportswear.
Although Morrison has learned from experience, he said college is definitely in his plans. He wants to study business management or communication at BYU or the University of Utah. After earning a bachelor's degree, Morrison said, he wants to go for a master's in business administration.
Through all that, Morrison said he'll keep the sportswear business and continue to expand it.
He said he likes to see people wearing Kaution T-shirts. "That's really cool. That's what makes it all worthwhile."