WHS Grads Start Clothing Line
Putting Peru's Nazca Lines on shirts has put the company started by Dan Barrenechea and David Voshchin, and UMass classmate Erica Baptiste, on the map.
Dan Barrenechea and David Voshchin have been classmates at Westborough High School and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Now, they're business partners, just months after graduating college in May.
Nazca Line Apparel -- which the 2008 WHS grads launched with UMass classmate Erica Baptiste on July 25 -- was inspired by Barrenechea's trip to Peru in August 2011 to see his family, his first trip there in seven years.
The Nazca Lines are "massive drawings etched into the desert sand that can only be seen from a plane or helicopter. This 2,000 year old archeological enigma is one of the largest works of art in the world," according to http://www.zazzle.com/nazcaline.
The trio now sells men's and women's shirts, and accessories such as mugs and iPhone cases, with Nazca Lines interpreted by Baptiste, an artist.
The shirts are made in Peru, by a friend of Barrenechea's father.
And Barrenechea, Voshchin and Baptiste are investing in Peru.
On Nov. 13, they donated $1,500 to AlliancExchange to help out in Tacna, Peru, to "supply 30 children with backpacks containing all necessary supplies for the child to be successful in school for a full year. These include school, art, recreation, fitness, and hygienic supplies," according to a Nazca Line press release.
Nazca Line donates 5 percent of each shirt sale to AlliancExchange, a Somerville-based nonprofit that provides "rainforest children with educational opportunities," according to its website.
"We wanted to give back to Peru," Voshchin said during a recent interview.
"We figured Peru makes sense because the culture gives us the inspiration, and that we manufacture there. We should give back there, and most important, to education."
Barrenechea called the business "a clothing line based on something real."
"Half the time, we're teaching people about the Nazca Lines," he said.
Voshchin said he and Barrenechea had "wanted to be entrpreneurs, and we had talked about different ideas."
"Dan came back (from Peru) and showed me the concept, and the fact that he had a manufacturer all lined up. He sold me right there," Voshchin said.
Baptiste is the firm's artist.
"It's always her style that's coming through," Voshchin said.
Expanding the product and design varieties is a goal, he said.
"We've only used a fraction of the natural Nazca Lines in our shirts," Voshchin said.