Kevin Ames

While launching a business as a TU student, Kevin Ames ’17 tapped his network for help.

Kevin Ames and Matthew Wilmer standing near the Chesapeake Bay
Kevin Ames ’17 (right) launched a clothing brand with his best friend Matthew Wilmer (left).

For Kevin Ames ’17, it really was who he knew.

Ames and his close friend and fellow Calvert Hall alumnus, Matthew Wilmer, were both well into their undergraduate studies when they started Chesapeake Collection—a lifestyle clothing brand inspired by the classic “preppy” style and coastal Mid-Atlantic charm.

As a mass communication major, Ames' biggest resource was a network of friends.

With limited resources, Ames says they recruited friends to be brand ambassadors.

“They did such a wonderful job of spreading the word of our brand throughout Loyola and Towson’s campuses,” he says. “Needless to say, they were a huge part of helping us grow in the young stages of this brand, and we can’t thank them enough for their help.”

Since graduating, Ames has been working fulltime to grow the business, which recently attracted the attention of angel investors. Chesapeake Collection clothing, featuring a signature blue crab logo, now can be found in Baltimore stores, such as Smyth Jewelers and Cohen’s Clothiers, and online.

Riding on the wave of success, Ames is helping up-and-coming entrepreneurs by mentoring students through the Student Launch Pad. He says he wants students to know it is possible to start a business.

“You have to make some sacrifices along the way, but if you persist and keep your vision clear, you will amaze yourself,” he says. “The feeling of creating something like your own business is incredible. It’s so rewarding knowing that you’ve created something by yourself and that you set a big-time goal and accomplished it.”