Wearing beanies has been a trend for years. These hats are often made to reflect a wearer’s personal style, and Brian Mcalister, an Ohio State alumni, decided to share his own style through his company BMC Handmade, which specializes in hand crafted crochet beanies.
Brian Mcalister started BMC, or the “Brian Mcalister Company,” with “a book, a hook, a ball of yarn and… persistence,” according to his Web site; everything he needed to make his unique hats.
“In my freshman year, my roommate’s grandmother made him a crochet hat,” Mcalister said. “I could never find similar hats in the stores, so I decided to teach myself. After I finally graduated… I started making hats for my friends.”
He said, in the beginning not all of his friends liked the idea, but after seeing Mcalister produce the trendy hats for them, they stopped telling him he was “like a girl, making hats,” and just let him work
His drive for success also kept him going.
“Whenever I have an idea, I try to pursue it as business,” Mcalister said. “It’s not only about making hats. It’s about developing beanies that people use to express their style and attitude.”
BMC Handmade is making fashionable beanies inspired by urban culture and Mcalister’s personal style.
“All of our products are made by hand,” Mcalister said. “The brand is a personal thing.”
Their products include large slouch, medium slouch, small slouch, and snug fit hats.
“Our next things are handbags,” Mcalister said. He also hinted at the possibility of launching men’s messenger bags in the near future.
Enthusiasm and sincerity emanated from Mcalister’s voice as he talked about his products and his company. His mission was clear: to make a trendier hand-knitted beanie that has its own style and fit that people really want.
“Like Coal Headwear, everyone knows it. I want to do the same, making the best product in this field.” Mcalister said.
His inspirations for BMC came from many sources, such as books and his favorite music.
“My favorite author is Robert Greene. He is really inspirational,” Mcalister said. “I like business-related books [too], especially those with successful experiences. Like Donald Trump; his persistence really inspired me.”
He also mentioned drawing from his favorite band, Incubus. He said he hopes wearers can see that reflected in his product’s style.
There are four different stores selling BMC wares in Columbus. They are four different stores with their own approaches and different customer bases.
Rowe Boutique, is in the Short North at 718 N. High St. Rowe provides collections of clothing, accessories, and jewelry to its customers.
“It’s a very chic store; a good area for women,” Mcalister said.
Paradise Garage, featuring clothing, bicycles, and commuting accessories, is at 941 N. High St. Like its name, “Paradise,” this store is “timeless.” The clothing has forward-thinking style and also provides lifetime free services for on all the bicycles, according to its official Web site.
Embassy Skate Shop is a store for those who love skateboarding located at 3347 N.High St.
“I’m planning on certain styles in different locations,” Mcalister said. “[I] plan for future.”
For students who want a chance to check out BMC headware closer to home, Mcalister is selling hats at the Import House, which is next to campus at 4 E. 13th Ave., just off High Street.
“I actually just opened a store in Chicago yesterday,” Mcalister said. His next step is to open stores in California, Boston, and New York. “I’d like to call myself an entrepreneur, making my own money and being my own boss,” Mcalister said.
From a college student being made fun of for making hats, to a young entrepreneur who launched an actual business this February, it took Brian Mcalister three years to develop his passion into a business. With the launching of its Web site, www.bmchandmade.com, and Facebook fan page, BMC is reaching its goal of becoming a new style for young people.