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University of Sanibel cruises into second year

By Staff | Feb 10, 2016

Curt Will and Ann Runyon are now full-time residences of Sanibel and are jumping in feet first to promote their island clothing line the University of Sanibel. BRIAN WIERIMA

The rookie season is over for the University of Sanibel, as proprietors Curt Will and Ann Runyon enter their sophomore year of the ever-growing popular clothing line.

The pair of entrepreneurs are looking to build off their rookie momentum and will have plenty of time to do such so, after the Colorado residents have moved to Sanibel full time.

The enterprising clothing line is marketed as University of Sanibel, and its being seen more and more on the island.

“We have been told by our select retailers that people are coming in and asking specifically for our line,” Will said. “The word is getting out.”

Now that the two are full-time on Sanibel, they can put much more time in marketing and spreading the word about University of Sanibel.

University of Sanibel is sold exclusively at selected retailers on the island, which include H2O Outfitters in the Jerry’s Shopping Center; Paradise of Sanibel in Periwinkle Place; The Sporty Seahorse Shop at 362 Periwinkle Way and at S.S. Hookers Restaurant which is located right off the entrance of the Sanibel Causeway.

To be enrolled in the University of Sanibel, an individual has to just visit one of the listed popular attractions the island has to offer, including – but not limited to – visiting the Lighthouse Pier, search for the perfect shell, toured the Shell Museum, visited Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, biked one of the many paths, golfed on the island, stopped for a turtle or watched the sunset with sand in your shoes.

After enrollment, the “student” can show off their University pride by wearing one of the three clothing series created by Runyon and Will.

“You cannot order the clothes directly off our website, because we want to patronize our retailers,” Runyon said. “But the website has what we do sell and the list of retailers, as well.”

The University of Sanibel’s mascot is the Fighting Conch, which can also be found on the apparel, with sports teams being represented including football, which Will produces write-ups of the Southwestern Florida Island Football Conference.

The University of Sanibel Fighting Conch squad is coached by Bill Osprey, and finished with a perfect 7-0 record. Will had write-ups each week on Facebook, with teams including Periwinkle Pirates, Bayou Bobcats, Cause-Way Cougars, Fishing Pier Panthers, Marine Mollusks, Outer Bank Otters, Lighthouse Legends, Tarpon Bay Tigers and the Middle Gulf Gators.

There are three series offered, including the signature, classic and standard.

The signature series features the many attractions on Sanibel offered to “students” and include women’s V-neck T-Shirts and men’s T-shirts. The Standard series has a texting message on the back of the T-shirts, which typifies the modern day college student. A crew neck sweat shirt and uni-sex T-shirts are available.

The Classic series features women’s V-Neck polo tops and men’s regular polo shirts. There is also a uni-sex zip-up hoodie available for those frigid Florida evenings. There are also different types of shorts available, as well as Shell Team hats.

All clothes are embroidered with the University of Sanibel logo.

“Our goal this year is to expand our product with different retailers,” Runyon said. “We also have golf polos now on sale, which have been selling well.”

The University of Sanibel apparel can be seen at the different charity events on the island, something both Will and Runyon wanted.

“We want to be a part of the community and have a presence here,” Runyon said. “We want to create a buzz. We love seeing residents in University of Sanibel clothes.”

To learn more about the University of Sanibel, visit their website at www.universityofsanibel.com/home.