WSU alumnus’ clothing business gains national attention

The now-corporate clothing store first opened in Pullman


ABBY LINNENKOHL | The Daily Evergreen

Tony Poston, WSU ’08 alumnus, company president and co-founder of College Hill Custom Threads, has expanded the company since the inception.

MARIAH INMAN, Evergreen reporter

College Hill Custom Threads began in an apartment above The Coug bar and grill, with three white boards and tons of sticky notes.

Tony Poston, founder and president of College Hill Custom Threads, came back to Pullman three years after graduating to begin a custom apparel shop with two friends.

“I just missed Pullman a lot,” he said, “and thought that this was a good chance for me to get back to Pullman and start a life here.”

Poston co-founded College Hill Custom Threads with WSU alumnus Kevin McPartland and Stephen Lloyd, Art Institute of Seattle alumnus. Partland and Lloyd left the company about a year into it.

In 2011, Poston worked out of his shared apartment with his paper system. He had three white boards to represent each part of the process.

ABBY LINNENKOHL | The Daily Evergreen
College Hill Custom Threads is able to decorate beyond clothing, including pens and headphones.

“I remember back then when sometimes the door would open and it’d be windy, all the sticky notes would blow off and fall and I’d be panicking like ‘Where was this one at?’ ” Poston said.

The company has advanced a lot since the whiteboard stages, he said.

College Hill Custom Threads has created a positive reputation over the years, Poston said, helping the company to extend its reach all over the country.

“Our footprint has expanded obviously, from just WSU to over 400 campuses,” he said. “Our client base has changed quite a bit from before. It was just centered around universities, now we have an entire corporate division.”

In the beginning, Poston and Chris Anderson, regional director for College Hill Custom Threads, were calling a hundred people a day to ask if they would like to buy their products. The company now has a reputation for getting sales from returning customers, he said.

The accomplishments of College Hill Custom Threads have been noted by Forbes Magazine, which named it a 2017 finalist for the Main Street Awards.
“[It’s] really exciting,” Poston said, “because it’s a lifelong dream of mine to be in the Forbes magazine.”

College Hill Custom Threads has expanded its selection of products to bring more options for customers.

“Our product isn’t limited to clothing,” Poston said, “which some people think all we do is like fraternity and sorority t-shirts, that’s not the case.”

The company is open to putting logos or designs on pens or headphones, Anderson said. College Hill Custom Threads creates a thousand temporary tattoos for the police department every year, Anderson said.

ABBY LINNENKOHL | The Daily Evergreen
Chris Anderson, regional director of College Hill Custom Threads and WSU ’12 alumnus, discusses College Hill Custom Threads.

“If you can decorate it, we can do it,” Poston said.

College Hill Custom Threads works with the buyer’s budget so they can get high quality for what it’s worth, Anderson said.

“We can do all price points, all budgets for groups,” Anderson said.

College Hill Custom Threads is located on the second story of Valhalla Bar and Grill at 1000 NE Colorado St. College Hill Custom Threads can also be found on their website.