Shirt DESIGNS that win trophies

The story of Aldrin Agawin has become a classic. But the untold story of how his shirtpreneur journey started gives us a glimpse of what it takes to get 7-digit sales.

Where it started for the 18-year old microbiology student

It all began when Aldrin saw this poster:

Shirt Happen’s 2014 design contest

After competing with more than 50 designers, Aldrin came up on top and won the cash prize. In a week or two, his design was already being worn by hundreds of Thomasians.

The official 2014 cheer shirt!
Champion shirt design

When he discovered, he thought he could earn the same amount more or less. Fast forward to May 2016, Aldrin already had multiple stores and obtained the 7-digit club title. What made this possible?

  1. Market Insight: Aldrin joined contests like this in UST for many times. These gave him a clear view of the kind of designs that make the Thomasian community tick.
  2. Timing: His first campaign was launched a week before the UAAP season. The Thomasian spirit was on fire and he was ready to pounce.
  3. Promo: After replicating the bundle strategy of Neil Palteng, he sold shirts like pancakes.


Obtaining market insight is not a walk in a park but there are many ways to do it like (1) joining design contests (2) conducting surveys (3) getting insider information (4) researching about successful designs in the past and many more. Aldrin’s method may have been the hard way but it sure is worth it.