Aidan Turner ’24, architect and entrepreneur, building Grater Things

Aidan Turner ’24, a student majoring in architecture, is a creative who blends the elements of architecture with the design of his clothing line, Grater Things.  Aidan grew up in Cumberland, Rhode Island and was influenced heavily by his mother who is an art teacher.  His environment pushed him to experimentation, and he entered college, he knew he wanted to bring a concept to market. 

Grater Things, Aidan’s clothing company, targets the Gen Z and millennial generations. His venture is a medium for him to bring a creative mind with dimensions of architecture to fashion.

“Grater Things is a trendy and simplistic brand that focuses on sweats,” says Turner.  “The inspiration for our name is a spinoff of the phrase ‘Greater Things’ and is intended to be a funny, less serious nameplate.”  Grate Things currently offers crew neck sweatshirts and hoodies but are looking to expand to sweatpants, t-shirts, socks, and more.  It also offers custom, trendy wall print tiles in vibrant color options.  The focus is on the playful nature of the brand, with a logo that is a cartoon cheese grater.

Aidan’s plans for expansion include but are not limited to rebranding as well as more professional photoshoots. A critical piece of his success is pouring more money into advertisements and creating a real identity behind the brand. Partnering with artists will allow for increased exposure so that Grater Things can reach a greater audience.

“Grater Things is devoted to a life of persistence and positivity and reaching further than you ever thought you could.  Putting positive vibes into the universe brings them back around to you, it’s as simple as that.”

Adian has been working with LaunchPad Rubin Family Innovation Mentor Jackson Ensley, founder of Popcycle, a marketplace for student fashion brands, on developing Grater Things.  The brand will be featured in Popcycle pops this spring on campus.  The product line includes streetwear and lounge clothing.  Aidan is also helping Jackson design other pop-up retail events. 

When Aidan reflects on the late Virgil Abloh, he sees the refraction of what he could be someday, using his creativity to make a living. As a creator, he is motivated by strength and passion. Because his mind is eclectic, he draws on inspiration from a variety of sources which allows him to thread these ideas in space into a cohesive design.

Aidan says that learning architecture is like relearning the world through a new lens. Observing even the smallest details in design can serve as stimulation which sparks the energy to create.

As a creator, Aidan sees being gregarious, passionate, and hardworking as the keys to success. A blend of emotional intelligence followed by passion into a pursuit of one hundred percent effort is the frame of mind required to crush goals. Aidan possesses the qualities of a salesperson but the genius of an architect because he looks at the world through the lens of design. While financial success is its own reward, helping others is the end goal of Aidan’s career because he feels there is humility in giving back.

Along the way, Aidan has realized learning from other people’s mistakes is important to understand the success and failure of brands. For example, he remarked that by making something simpler that people would buy works with certain styles and materials.

Not every mentor is someone you must know personally. Vigil Abloh was an architect who became a designer because he mastered his craft and monetized it. Despite the barriers in the fashion world, he kept going and took his designs to new heights so that the fashion world could do nothing else but respect him. Aidan sees life in what Virgil did for the world. He blended people from different worlds and joined their experiences to create inventive products. Like Aidan, many in our generation see the beauty in blending the paints of ideas to make something the world has never seen before.

Creative collaborative communities are important because the more ideas and opinions you have, the better the synthesis of an idea. Diverse minds create products that are closer to the customer’s ideal because of the variety of hands the product has touched.

Aidan believes that all aspiring entrepreneurs must have perseverance and grit which are vital to success because demanding times are inevitable. He vividly remembers the moments he spent thousands of dollars on products and eventually sold them despite the changing demand for fashion. Patience is a virtue. Stay inspired and always keep your eyes open.

Aidan defined an innovator as “Someone with a goal in mind, someone who is constantly thinking. Innovation as an artist is tough because the first part is following trends but also predicting trends.”

Story by Blackstone Launchstar Brandon Henry 24; photo supplied