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5 Minutes with Entrepreneur Lindsay Harris, UNC
UNC

5 Minutes with Entrepreneur Lindsay Harris, UNC

Nov 03, 2023

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Lindsay Harris graduated just this May 2023 from UNC (University of North Carolina) majoring in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Having just graduated she already was an entrepreneur and had started a brand and business! 


The Creation of Surfly

Lindsay’s passions have always been to create and connect with people. This led her to the world of fashion, marketing and design. During the pandemic, she found herself with tons of ideas, extra time and the need to channel all this energy. In between online classes at UNC at Chapel Hill, she called her dad and told him of her desire to start a brand. She didn't know what it would be, what it would sell or even what it could be called!


“I have always been business minded. I remember selling handmade jewelry to my mom’s friends at her baby shower for my little sister when I was 9 years old.”


She began writing down and drawing what her brand would feel like “beach, surf, peace and joy” and feelings like the first day of summer and handwritten notes. She then began playing around with adding “ly” to the end of words that inspired her and “Surfly” was born. After that, she quickly got to work finding manufacturers, trademarking the name, buying the domain and building her business! 

Surfly’s first product launched in June 2021 and was the Sandy Crew. This was just the start. Lindsay fell in love with designing and production. It wasn't just about the products now. She began experimenting with visual storytelling and ways to tell the story behind the brand. This led to shooting videos with friends and local surfers, which launched with every product drop. This was just the beginning.

In April 2022, Surfly made its way to South End Surf Shop in Wrightsville Beach, NC. This local brand was being sold next to huge name brands and sold out within two weeks. This was huge! But at the same time Lindsay was off to Florence for the summer to study abroad. This time would not be wasted. Here she continued studying fashion and design. Surfly was her final project and she was able to create original designs of her swimwear, activewear and loungewear lines. 

Back at UNC, Lindsay continued her work on Surfly while also juggling her schoolwork and being part of the UNC Dance Team.  Having now graduated, she is now working on Surfly full time, pushing boundaries and with the goal of making a significant impact in the lives of those who connect with Surfly.


Life as an Entrepreneur and UNC


As a young female entrepreneur, Lindsay learned the value of self-discipline and the importance of adapting to circumstances. She made great efforts to keep up with her brand while away at college. This included driving home twice a week to fulfill orders and keep her business going. 

“At the end of the day, it’s up to me to get everything done: from packing orders and attending to customer emails to managing finances, maintaining an active presence on social media, overseeing the e-commerce site, and nurturing relationships—all while keeping a clear vision for the brand”

 

Coming from a proud lineage of Tar Heels, UNC was Lindsay’s dream school. As the child of UNC college sweethearts, she grew up going to lots of games and proudly donning Carolina Blue. A decade later, she found herself on the same field as her parents, dancing for the Heels with her two sisters by her side. UNC was not just her university; it became her support system and played a powerful role in her becoming the woman she is today. 


What Kyle Cavan means to Lindsay


As a UNC alumnus, Lindsay proudly wears her UNC Sunburst Necklace close to her heart. It’s a reminder of a place she can always call home and of her childhood devotion and irreplaceable memories: “storming Franklin Street after we beat Duke in the Final Four, endless sunset walks dreaming with my friends, and performing for thousands of fans who share the same allegiance to this amazing university.” 


Check out Surfly and Lindsay on IG @lindsaybharris and @shopsurfly for styling inspo, surfing and more of her story!