Most college students start their first months after graduation creating the next path in their lives. From first jobs, to starting fresh in a new city, to starting a family… that time spent in college helps to prepare graduates for what’s next. But they never forget the special memories made during their time on campus. That is especially true for Ryan Fowler and Kevin Goldner, who graduated in 2003 and have created an online t-shirt business called BG Memories to keep their college memories alive.
“Being a student at BGSU was the best four years of my life and I know a lot of people feel that way,” said Fowler. “I wanted to do something cool where I could pay homage to the University.”
Fowler spent most of his career in broadcasting, working as a videographer, sports reporter and anchor. Currently, he is fantasy editor at Fox Sports and content manager at WhatifSports.com. He took his knowledge of marketing and networking and launched the BG Memories Facebook page in February 2014. That’s where he shared stories about BGSU and gave followers previews of shirts that would soon be available. But when it came to the actual shirt designs, Fowler called on his former roommate and co-worker, Kevin Goldner.
“I’m not an artist, so when I was coming up with these designs on paper it just wasn’t working out, so I reached out to Kevin and he actually had a desire to do this too,” said Fowler.
“It was pretty ironic,” said Goldner. “We both had this idea without knowing that we’d be doing something like this together.”
Goldner is a graphic design major and works with Fowler at Fox Sports.
While he and Fowler come up with the t-shirt ideas together, he enjoys using both his passion for BGSU and his creativity.
“I see it like a blank slate of what we can do and how we can represent the school well and stand out from the rest,” Goldner said.
The two spent the rest of 2014 putting their business together. They spent several hours researching the licensing process and brainstorming the t-shirt designs. BG Memories officially opened on September 13, 2014 and they’ve been pleased with everything so far.
“We share a lot of memories from yesteryear and the present on our Facebook page. And when we combine the passion of the people on Facebook with our Facebook marketing, business has been good,” Fowler said.
The shirts feature everything from the Roll Along theme to popular downtown establishments and vintage athletics logos.
“The hockey fan base is really passionate,” said Goldner. “They have a rich history of having a national championship under their belt so we saw an opportunity to do a 1984 championship shirt and it did really well.”
Both Fowler and Goldner credit BGSU for their continued success.
“My time at BG24 are some of my favorite times,” said Fowler. I got to work with some really great people. Also meeting my roommates and building friendships that have lasted for 20 years now. That’s what college was all about.”
“Bowling Green is a safe community and has that small town feel that I connected with. I met a lot of friends there, including my wife,” said Goldner.
Fowler and Goldner come back to campus at least once a year to meet up again with their former roommates. They plan to continue to manage their business in addition to working their full-time jobs.