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You’ve just arrived home after being away for a long time. You get off the plane or start driving through your hometown and you begin to recognize the things around you.

The weather, the buildings, the people — they are all familiar in some way. You get excited about whom you are going to see and what you are going to do; you become nostalgic thinking about the memories you’ve already made in that place, and feel not just a geographical connection, but a visceral and emotional one as well.

I’ve felt it coming home to Albuquerque, New Mexico, but more recently I’ve felt it returning to the Hilltop. Coming across Key Bridge, with the Washington Monument on my right and the majestic Healy skyline to the left I am ready to embrace the city and everything that comes with it. That feeling is precious to me. It’s the reason why I decided to start a company dedicated to capturing that feeling, something I call a Local High.

It began when I started making T-shirts with the Albuquerque skyline printed on the pocket for my friends. As I moved around for summer internships I began to customize, making coworkers original shirts with their own hometown skyline printed on the pocket. I began to realize that there was something unique about the love we have for our cities and hometowns.

After all, that’s what makes Local High unique. We don’t market brands; we market the cities themselves.

Local High is the umbrella for what will be countless clothing lines specific to each city. We’re starting in Washington D.C. That’s where DChillin’ comes in. It is a simple combination of two things our company strongly believes in: D.C. and chillin’. We wanted to create a design that is clever, incorporates a local saying, forces people to look twice and most importantly allows wearers to make a statement about the city we live in.

In many ways the design is meant to be a unifying brand for D.C. Anyone who has lived in, or visited Washington has can relate to relaxing in the nations capital, but the ultimate goal is to create different and distinct lines for cities all over the world. Right now, we’re a far way off from that dream, but it’s a great place to start. After all, the market is in dire need of disruption.

Walk a few blocks anywhere in the District and you’ll find countless stores and vendors that sell tacky souvenir clothing. It’s not cool; It’s not stylish. It’s sad that I have never been tempted to buy any type of Washington-specific clothing. We want to create clothing that marries the style of modern street fashion, with the local appeal that’s become so popular today. We want to create clothes that people who live or were born in the city would want to wear.

That’s where we start: working on a business plan during the first semester, selling 130 prototypes, creating a functional website, and working out a deal with GT Players on Wisconsin to sell our material. We’re starting small, with lofty goals of increased awareness and expansion, but we’re on our way. Stick around and you’ll see.

Joe Koech is the founder and CEO of Local High and a senior in the College.

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