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Ben Waller ′11

Hometown: Memphis, TN
Major: Biology

There’s a rumor going around that you’re involved with a new line of preppy clothes.
Let’s face it—I like to look good. The first step to looking good is dressing well. I think clothes make a statement about the wearer. This past summer, three of my friends from high school and I decided to start a new clothing line based on southern culture. After all, Vineyard Vines is northern, Polo screams British, and Lacoste is based in France. Delta Days will be all about the south. Every shirt will have a name—like Delta Dawn, which will be orange, boll weevil (green) and blue suede—and each will be packaged with its own story card. Tradition, honor, and strong values are the pillars of the Southern culture, and thus the central themes of the clothing line. We’ve considered many logo possibilities, but have yet to decide on one that truly represents our ideas.

What gave you the idea you could pull it off?
We met with the owner of a local men’s store and he loved the idea. One friend’s dad is in the apparel business and he’s helping us a great deal with logistics and business advice. We’ve all invested our own money and have convinced other local Memphians to invest. I guess it really didn’t occur to us that we couldn’t do it.

Well, why did you want to do it?
I saw it as a chance to do something creative which was appealing to me. I’ve always loved art and I loved my sculpture class here. Starting a clothing line is creative in a way but I’m also learning about copyrights, company organizations and legal entities. All of that is a foreign language to a biology major.

Biology major?
That’s the plan. Pre-med actually. I’ve made it through the first year which was grinding but enjoyable. The faculty are absolutely wonderful. Professor Kesler, my second semester Biology professor, is a class act—demanding, fair and fun. Professor Jaslow is fun- loving and kind and a very talented professor. She was a big influence on my decision to be a Biology lab teacher’s assistant, along with my positive lab experience in Professor Sorin’s Biology lab.

Wait, we’re hearing about clothing design, sculpture, business and premed. That’s a lot of interests!
Yeah, I know, and that’s not all. I love science fiction novels, sports, Memphis and the south. At times, it does seem a little overwhelming. But I care about each of my interests, whether it be Delta Days, pre-med, flag-football, my fraternity, or Batman. The key is striking the balance between them all, and finding the time to just relax and enjoy life.

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