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On a quest to launch Questkids, local designer wins at Qwest

By Laura Cassidy May 14, 2010


Sorry about that mouth full, but I couldn’t resist.

Here’s what happened: Local snowboarder/graphic designer Binh Nguyen was doing what snowboarder/graphic designers do when his family of nine was hit with the terrible news that his niece had cancer. Nguyen took a key role in her care and became intimately aware of the amazing work being done at Children’s Hospital. He wanted to give back to the institution and help other families, but didn’t have the means.

Again, doing what many snowboarder/graphic designers do, he saved money for screenprinting materials and launched a tee-shirt line. Nguyen’s the first to admit that the market had pretty much all the tee-shirt lines it needed, especially around the time the economy soured. He put his line on hold and pursued a degree in fashion business at Shoreline Community College, and then a pretty serious snowboarding accident put everything else on hold. At home with a broken collar bone, he began sketching what would become the first few seasons of Questkids, a graffiti-inspired, urban-angled kids line dedicated to giving 5% of its profits to the place that saved his niece’s life.

Earlier this spring, as Nguyen was readying deliveries of his spring/summer 2010 line to shops like Snowboard Connection, Deli Seattle, and Bootyland, Nguyen got wind of a contest sponsored by Microsoft and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Upstart businesses (to be eligible, they could have no more than seven full time employees) were invited to make videos explaining how Office 2010 allows them to do their thing. Nguyen and his collaborators put together a spot, and at Thursday night’s contest finale at Qwest Field, the Questkids entrepreneur found out the $10k prize was his.

To see Nguyen’s inventive, ready-for-prime-time Questkids love letter to Office 2010 click here. (That’s him in the second half of the flick.) The process and end product were so successful that the crew launched Electric Bubbles, a marketing side project of the label.

Interested in Questkids for your kids? It’s only getting better for fall. While the first and current season focuses on jersey knits and silkscreens, the fall line features cut-and-sew pieces; denim, hoodies, and the like.

Picture mini snowboarder/graphic designers with a graffiti- and urban-inspired edge, and a heart of gold, and you’ve got the vibe.

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