How a squirrel costume changed fashion in Bellingham

Five years ago they were two broke Western Washington University students in Bellingham with nothing but a plan and a squirrel costume. Now Brendan Pape and Christian Harkson have their own clothing line, Disidual. That's a made up word that combines "dis

Five years ago they were two broke Western Washington University students in Bellingham with nothing but a plan and a squirrel costume.

Now Brendan Pape and Christian Harkson have their own clothing line, Disidual. That's a made up word that combines "distinct" and "individual."

"I would say it's kinda someone who does their own thing and who doesn't really care what people think," Harkson said.

That's the attitude Harkson and Pape have had from the very beginning. They drove up to Vancouver during the 2010 winter Olympics with a squirrel costume in which they took turns break dancing on the sidewalk for tips.

"After about two hours we made like I think it was three-four hundred dollars and as broke college students it was a pretty good amount of money," says Harkson.

They used the money to buy silk screen presses off of Craigslist. And used the silk screen presses to make "Washington Grown" sweatshirts which featured George Washington wearing sunglasses.

"The Western Washington bookstore kinda compared it to the Beanie Baby craze because you couldn't walk on Western's campus without seeing five or six people wearing it," says Harkson.

Five years later, Harkson and Pape have eight full-time employees, They spend most of their time printing up t-shirts and hats for clients like Christian youth camps and local ski resorts. But they're also designing clothes for those "distinct individuals" out there.

"I would say the people who wear our clothes are the outdoor enthusiasts," says Harkson. "The people who love the outdoors. But really anyone."

Disidual
(253) 232-6050
4208 Meridian St
Bellingham, WA 98226

© 2017 KING-TV


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