NEW MILFORD, N.J. — Three friends from New Milford know there's more to life than looking good.
It's about feeling good. Feeling confident. Being the best you can be.
For Adam Fatouh, Christian DeCastro and Christopher Whittaker, it's about surpassing the limit.
The three 21-year-olds named their clothing line just that: "Surpass The Limit Apparel (STLA)."
"The goal is to surround the brand with people who not only believe in the message, but represent its true roots in their everyday life," said Fatouh, who is studying exercise science at Montclair State University.
"You should strive every day to achieve and surpass your goals and not let anyone or anything get in your way. Life is hard but it’s about facing challenges head-on and pushing through to achieve your goals."
That's exactly the mentality that the lifelong friends and New Milford High School graduates adapted when launching their business endeavor last July.
They wanted to start a business together, but it had to be something that would send a positive message to anyone, no matter their goals.
Each founder brings uniqueness to the brand: Whittaker, website skills; DeCastro, graphic design and Fatouh, marketing.
The only area in which they all lacked something was arguably the most important: business experience.
"We wanted to make sure we were taken seriously, and that meant we couldn't run a business without going through the necessary legal steps," said DeCastro, a nursing major at Ramapo College.
"It was tough but, like most challenges, we learned a lot and grew as individuals and as business owners."
While the fashion industry is among the more difficult in which to succeed, the boys are eager to face the challenge.
"We wouldn't say we are successful yet because we set high standards for ourselves and have huge plans for the future," said Whittaker, a computer engineering major at Stevens Institute of Technology.
"But some of our success comes from doing the right things."
Like using the right material — for comfort. They use mostly cotton-based material with some spandex for performance. Both materials have the right stretch factor.
" We are proud of our business," Fatouh said. "Even though STLA is a young one, we plan to make some noise in the fitness and streetwear clothing market."