Lancer Spotlight: Steaphan Nolan rides the Eastern Waves into profit


Courtesy of Steaphan Nolan

Steaphan Nolan’s Eastern Waves t-shirts.

Steaphan Nolan appears to be a “normal” 17-year-old,  balancing school grades with a part time job at Jersey Mike’s. Nolan is all about setting goals for himself, making money and following his dreams. His future plans are to major in business, travel around the world, and settle in California.

He knows what he wants and will work tirelessly until he meets his goals. Nolan is the Treasurer of the National Business Honor Society and part of the Billionaire’s club.

With this knowledge in business he had a dream to create his own company. Over the start of the pandemic Nolan wanted to create a t-shirt company. He wanted to give people the chance to wear something stylish and cost effective. He has always loved the style of Vineyard Vines and wanted to create something similar. 

The company is called Eastern Waves. Since the theme of the shirts is the beach he went with a name that went with it. Eastern because we are on the East Coast and waves because of the beach. 

Nolan first told the idea to his friend, Alex Pauley. Stephan wanted an animal that resembled beach vibes. And ultimately decided on the Toucan, even though he has never seen one in real life.

Stepahan Nolan heat presses the design onto a t-shirt. (Courtesy of Steaphan Nolan)

“Steaphan has been successful in Eastern Waves because in the past he was always talking to me about starting a business, and he doesn’t stop until his goals are met. This just shows that he isn’t giving up on anything and he’s trying his hardest to be successful in any way possible,” said Pauley.

His older brother Brennan Nolan, a graphic designer, helped bring Nolan’s idea to life. Nolan gives his ideas to Brennan and then he designs them on Photoshop. Steaphan is then able to transfer the design to the Cricut to cut out the vinyl and then he heat presses them to the shirts.

Brennan Nolan said, “The designs typically take 2 to 3 hours if they are from scratch. But if they are smaller and use elements from past designs they take an hour or less.”

Steaphan Nolan’s Eastern Waves short sleeve T-shirt in red. (courtesy of Steaphan Nolan)

Nolan uses a Cricut machine to cut out the iron-in vinyl design. He then uses a heat press from his Dad’s work to put the design onto a shirt. 

With the help of senior Franscico Palacios, Nolan marketed on Instagram and TikTok accounts. Nolan also bought Instagram ads to get his brand out there to many different people around the United States.

He decided to donate part of his sales to the No Kid Hungry Foundation. He wanted to help people that were struggling during the pandemic.

He has plans to create a special holiday themed shirt for December 2020.

To order one of Nolan’s shirts DM the Eastern Waves Instagram. The T-shirts come in a wide variety of colors and styles. Short sleeves shirts are $15 dollars for a single color and 20 for multiple colors. The Long sleeves are $20  for a single color and $25 multiple colors.