by Katherine Sperduto ’19
The typical teenage job might be one such as hosting at the Greene Turtle in the Olney shopping center or lifeguarding at the Olney Indoor Swim Center. But for junior Thai Cao, life outside of school is much different compared to the normal teenagers’. On top of daily adolescent activities, Cao acts as CEO for the trending street-wear clothing line, Kasyk. Established in 2017, Kasyk.co has sold more than 300 items—an admirable number for a newly founded company—as its minimalistically driven, colored word-box design has proliferated throughout the halls of Sherwood and other local schools.
“Boredom made me start this company, to be honest. I felt that during my teenagers years I can do so much more,” Cao explained. “People wear clothes on a daily basis so how amazing would it be to see people wearing designs created by you?”
Those who purchase the products made by Kasyk tend to be high school students in the Montgomery County area and surrounding community, but most customers of the company are from Sherwood. “The quality [of Kasyk products] is really good and the prices are reasonable,” said junior Josh Spurrier. “I see tons of kids wearing Kasyk items every day.”
One of the most commonly pondered questions about the successful startup company involves the logo and the meaning behind it. The simple design of the word “Kasyk” (sometimes written with Japanese letters) is centered inside a colored boxed. Debates discussing the meaning behind “Kasyk” have sparked in classrooms when in reality, Kasyk is a made up word. “We believed in basic and minimalistic designs and we found that the word Kasyk rhymed with ‘basic,’” explained Cao.
With the help and generosity of his family and friends, Cao is able to efficiently run the streetwear clothing company. The process began with filing paperwork and with a $1,000 investment from his mother. Kasyk is run through Cao acting as CEO and his sister, sophomore Anh Cao, as president, followed by three teams: the design team, the reseller team, and an administrative team. Each team—mainly consisting of Sherwood students such as junior Olivia Baechelor, is equally crucial in the fluid production of the company and the way it operates.
Junior Jake Han acts as the head social advisor for the new company Kasyk. His job is ensuring that all customers have their products with no issues, and he also tracks the amount of merchandise that the customers have. From there, Han discusses with Cao product necessities and demands along with new designs and changes in prices. “It is a lot of work to take orders as well as get all the merchandise in but we always manage to keep people coming back so I think we’re doing pretty great,” said Han.
Moving forward in the future, Cao has big plans to expand and further his new company through new designs and changes with the hopes of selling globally one day in the future. “Commitment, you must be committed to what you do in order to succeed. People and friends helped this company grow,” said Cao.