HPU Students Begin 'Port Southern' Clothing Company

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 26, 2009 – High Point University students Nick Ruden, Jeremy Hiatt and Steven Beck, along with friend Zachary Moore, have a strong sense of style, and they are taking that fashion sense to the bank with a new clothing company – Port Southern.

The team plans to host a launch party and presentation on the HPU campus to promote the new venture. The event will be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 10 in the Plato S. Wilson School of Commerce ballroom. Students, faculty, staff and the media are invited to attend.

The idea for the company began on Sept. 1, 2008, when the friends came together looking for a way to show pride for the South, as well as help the community in some way. Also, they hoped to create a finer clothing company after the group grew tired of coming across a great deal of low-quality clothing. 

Out of that came Port Southern, a fine clothing company that hopes to spread southern hospitality.

“Our symbol is the pineapple, which historically represents welcome and hospitality,” Ruden says. “Since the South is known for its hospitable spirit, it seemed like the perfect marriage for our company.”

Ruden says he and his friends put a great deal of thought and effort into the venture as well ? and they looked for advice from others, too.

“We have invested hours of research and truly blood, sweat and tears into this company to see it thrive to the place it is now,” says Ruden. “We took our idea and received input from everywhere, including all types of individuals.”

The initial products offered include private-label hats and men’s polo shirts, which will be available in November following the launch. Items will be available for sale at the launch, as well as online at http://www.portsouthern.com/ and at Lindsay Odom Limited in High Point. The women’s line and more diversified men’s line will be available in spring 2010.

Additionally, Ruden says there’s a charitable component to the company.

“A very important aspect is our desire to give back to the communities that support us,” Ruden says. “We have established the Pineapple Fund with the High Point Community Foundation, which will give back to the needs of the greater High Point community.”

Monies for this fund will be raised with an annual event ? The Pineapple Bash.

“We will raise money through this event, as well as through the giving of a percentage of each of our products sold,” Ruden adds. 

Ruden says the company has a simple goal: “We want to provide the best southern-style clothing out there while giving back,” he says. “Our slogan for our company says it all ? ‘Fine Clothing with Southern Hospitality.'”

To find more information about Port Southern, visit http://www.portsouthern.com/.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in a fun environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students from 50 countries and 44 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among ?America?s Best Colleges.? HPU was included in The Chronicle of Higher Education?s ?Great Colleges to Work For? 2009 listings. The university offers 68 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at www.highpoint.edu.

Chris DudleyVice President for Administration336-841-4530cdudley@highpoint.edu

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