Coug Store hosts grand reopening, sells apparel

Business has variety of clothing such as winter coats, T-shirts



Tony Poston, owner of the newly reopened Cougar Store, talks about the reopening Thursday afternoon.

CARMEN JARAMILLO, Evergreen reporter

College Hill Custom Threads, a custom apparel and merchandise store, started in an apartment above The Coug in 2011.

Since its beginnings, Tony Poston, owner, president, founder and WSU alumnus, has grown it into a national company that serves over 400 universities.

The grand reopening of The Coug Store introduced College Hill Custom Threads’ new, strictly retail presence in Pullman.

Before the summer, the store’s physical location was crowded and confusing to customers, Poston said. The small location above Valhalla was serving as half a physical store and half an office space for the clothing designers and salespeople based in Pullman.

“We’ve always had a retail presence at WSU,” Poston said. “It started out as just a tent in front of the Coug. We would set up on game days and sell apparel.”

Now the space is completely renovated with a front counter, shelves and clothing racks. The Coug Store holds a range of apparel from winter coats to game day T-shirts.

Poston said in designing the new interior they tried to incorporate a lot of different crimson and gray colors as well as modern elements like a new metal countertop.

“We really just kinda wanted it to be boutique feeling,” Poston said.

Poston began his career out of college working in the music industry and was inspired to start College Hill Custom Threads after working in band merchandising. He decided to settle on collegiate apparel because of his desire to return to Pullman and his love of the college environment.

“I always wanted to move back to Pullman,” Poston said. “I knew this was where I wanted to be to raise my family. I’m extremely passionate about the college experience. I love working with college students.”

One of the best things about The Coug Store, Poston said, is its local aspect. Students make up a large part of the employee base and every clothing item in The Coug Store was picked and designed by students as well as decorated in the U.S.

“Everything is 100 percent local here, printed in Spokane or Seattle,” Poston said. “The money spent in our store stays in the economy and helps students. It’s all ran by students.”

One of those students is Courtney Teshera, a senior studying human resources. Teshera was recently promoted to manager of The Coug Store and said she feels pride in the fact that the store is student-run. She invited students to give their input.

“We really want our students to be represented in our store,” Teshera said. “So if [people] have any ideas, send them our way.”