Three Carmel Valley teens are hoping to encourage others to live a noble life, one T-shirt at a time. Seventeen-year-olds Oliver Belkin, Kia Zomorrodi and Roshan Patel recently started their own T-shirt company, Noble Life Apparel, creating shirts that send positive, inspirational messages.
The T-shirt line not only promotes a good cause but will also support good causes. With each shirt purchased, a percentage of the proceeds are set aside for their Noble Causes foundation. Semiannually, their foundation will donate the funds to customers' charities of choice.
"We were fortunate to grow up in a place like this," Oliver said. "It's about giving opportunities to those who are underprivileged."
The plan is for the company to grow bigger, get T-shirts into stores and collect money for charities, maybe even leading to the trio traveling to places such as Africa to perform service projects.
"We definitely have big ambitions," Kia said.
Starting Noble Life took an unexpected amount of work as the boys had much to learn in the business world.
"We wanted to start it in two months but it wound up taking seven," Kia said.
It took a lot of gathering information, reading books, talking to bankers and lawyers, and gleaning advice and support from their businessmen fathers.
The friends now plan to study business and finance in college — Kia and Roshan will be seniors at Canyon Crest Academy this fall, Oliver will start at MiraCosta College.
Six T-shirt styles are now available for purchase on their website and the shirts received a good response at Torrey Pines High School, Canyon Crest Academy and Cathedral Catholic High School. During the last few days of school the boys got a kick out of seeing classmates wearing their gear.
Kia and Oliver are considered the artists of the trio, drawing ideas that they give to their graphic designer to make into a T-shirt. They want the shirts to be meaningful and noble — as Oliver said, their major themes are "dreams, motivation and being passionate about whatever you do."
"We took a different approach to it — there's nothing out there like that," Roshan said.
One blue T-shirt has a pair of headphones stamped with the message: "Listen to your instincts."
One T-shirt the boys feel best represents their company's philosophy is a design with a crown and two hammers, plus the words "Building a foundation for the passionate."
Oliver, Kia and Roshan hope the wearers of their shirts will be as passionate as they have been about pursuing their dreams, living the good life and making the world a better place.
Buy Noble Life Apparel tees at