By Emily Horne
Alex Rodgers, a December 2009 graduate from Kent State University’s Visual Communication Design program, is now a successful business owner, specializing in printing trendy and affordable clothing and décor for children. His company, Lil’ Burritos, is a Northeast Ohio based design boutique that both sells items online and in a few specialty shops in the Cleveland and Columbus areas.
While Rodgers may not have always aspired to start his own business, he did always want the opportunity to work for himself. He began Lil’ Burritos in October of 2010 with his girlfriend Stephanie Rericha, also a Kent State graduate. At the time, Rodgers was working part-time at the American Greetings World Headquarters in Cleveland but unsure if it would result in a full-time position so he decided to start his own “passion project.” Now he works full-time with both companies.
The business stemmed from Rodgers’ passion “for creating cute, whimsical illustrations” and Rericha’s knowledge of kid culture. Though it started as a hobby, the business has turned into so much more and Rodgers says he couldn’t be happier with the result.
The name of the company was inspired by a term of the same name used to describe newborn babies as they were swaddled. Late in the planning stages, however, he had what he calls a “eureka moment” and decided to wrap the onesies in foil, like burritos. He says both he and Rericha have “an unhealthy love of Mexican food” and continued to say that the name fits on multiple levels.
The company began with onesies but has grown to include prints, tote bags, and night-lights, in addition to some adult shirts in their line of Big Burritos and dog shirts in their Doggie Burritos line. Most of the products fit into one of three categories: Regional Pride, Lil’ Animals, and their Swell Series. With Rodgers and Rericha both being from the Stow/Kent area, they admit to having an attachment to Northeast Ohio. Rodgers says the regional items seem to be most popular and are sold to many customers outside of the state.
Lil’ Burritos has grown into something Rodgers and Rericha never anticipated but they are still just a two person team. They love watching it grow and are simply along for the ride.
Look for Lil’ Burritos at the Kent Heritage Festival and Kent’s Art In The Park festivals this summer. For more information on Lil’ Burritos or how to purchase products, visit the Web site at www.LilBurritos.com.