I am Hollis Kolmansberger, and I’m 19 years old. When I was a kid, I would lie down to go to sleep, and my head would light up with clothing designs. I loved it, each night was like a movie. When I was 12, I realized that this was something unique, and I decided that I wanted to use it to build a career in fashion design. At 14, I founded this company, By Hollis, with the plan to build my understanding on the business side of fashion, while practicing my designing. I thought of the idea at a soccer tournament, where I saw a heat press in action printing tournament t-shirts. I remember thinking to myself, “I can figure that out.”
The next week, I began to write my plans for a little business. After pitching my idea, getting some investments and purchasing my machinery, I began to print. The very first thing I printed totally botched. After much practice (and numerous YouTube how-to videos), I began to create a product I loved- a super soft tee with my designs on the front, ones similar to the ones you’d find dancing through my head in the night.
By Hollis began to grow. One big change is that By Hollis upgraded to screenprinting, creating a better quality graphic. In 2016, I partnered with the Four Diamonds Foundation, an organization that helps families of children with pediatric cancer pay medical bills, and created a tee that benefits the cause. By Hollis later partnered with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Project Lyme on other beneficial t-shirt campaigns.
In 2017, for my senior year of high school, I moved to Leiria, Portugal to study abroad. I lived with a Portuguese family, and I studied art in the local high school. There were limitless inspirations during this year, and I designed a few collections for By Hollis while being there- most of them drawn up on a beautiful blue Portuguese coastline.
After I returned home the following summer, I moved to New York City, where I currently live. I am studying fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. I just finished up my freshman year and couldn’t be more sure about my choice to dive into the fashion industry.
This fall, I will be moving to Florence, Italy to study abroad at Polimoda. I am beyond thrilled and eternally thankful to have another opportunity to make a new place my home and soak up all it has to offer. Keep an eye on the new (most likely Italian-inspired) collections coming later this year.
Thank you for the support. The strong backbone you provide allows me to keep going for the dream. I am more than grateful!
"If you don't build your dream, somebody will hire you to help build theirs."