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Students sell ‘what you saw in the movies’

Diana True (right) and partner Jasmine Ellis (left) started in 2014.
Contributed by Charity Shaw

Diana True (right) and partner Jasmine Ellis (left) started in 2014.

Companies such as Hulu, Netflix and HBO Go have impacted the way society watches television. But thanks to a Clemson student entrepreneur, they can  also wear any clothes they see on screen. 

Diana True, a senior business major with an entrepreneurial focus, has developed “Saw it in the Movies” with her business partner, Jasmine Ellis, a recent psychology graduate. 

Saw it in the Movies is a website that allows users to find and purchase any clothing items they have seen on TV, whether it be from the Grammys, “Gossip Girl” or “Daredevil.” 

The idea was born five years ago when True was watching TV with her dad “and he thought it would be cool to have a T-shirt one of the actors was wearing, but there was no easy way to find it.” Her father stayed crucial in the startup process by providing True some of her initial funding for the website, which officially opened in 2014. 

The website makes money through commissions from direct purchases via Saw it in the Movies from stores such as Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue or Amazon. 

True said, “The average commission on these purchases is eight to 10 percent of the order. The affiliations, forming the LLC, marketing and the myriad of other business needs are keeping us plenty busy in moving this into a

profitable operation.” 

Although customers can buy clothes on the website, the business cannot receive commissions yet. According to True, the business still has a lot of work to get done. 

“We need to form an LLC and develop an operating agreement for the employees, including engineers, that we’re going to need. And that’s a challenge, because they’re going to have to look past immediate financial gain to what the future might bring,” True said. 

If a customer cannot find the desired item of clothing, they can contact True or Ellis, who will then personally find it for him or her. 

To surpass these challenges and help juggle the workload of a full time student and businesswoman, True has received help from the University Professional Internship Program Co-Op (UPIC) program through the Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership. 

True also credits Matt Klein and Greg Smith’s Creative Inquiry class “How to Start a Start-up” and Hope Parnell’s guidance. 

The target audience, according to their surveys, is typical college student age: male and female 18- to 25-year-olds. Women tend to be more interested in fashion purchases and men tend to buy graphic T-shirts. These groups are most easily found on social media, which is an affordable way to market the website. “There’s a very loyal, cult-like following among TV and movie-goers. “Twilight,” “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” and “The Hunger Games,” for example, have huge fan followings. Through a variety of channels, we need to tap into those groups with an Internet presence and engage them through social media.” 

The website is coming into its own at a very convenient time, as the movie industry is currently remaking major franchises for the modern era, marketed towards the generation that has grown up with everything they want at their fingertips via the Internet. 

“Social media is the most cost-efficient and effective way to get our brand out there. It’s free and so many in our target audience are engaged on channels like Twitter (@sawinthemovies), Instagram (@sawitinthemovies), Facebook ( and on Pinterest (,” True said. 

“We have many challenges, and keeping up with the economic, technologic and social demands necessary for the business to succeed is among them. It’s doable, and we have great support through our mentors. Now it’s up to us to execute.”

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