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‘No one believed in us,’ says Butterslabs business owner and Westminster alum

Westminster University alum Mike Spaeth said post-graduation he continues to pursue his passion of running his own clothing brand, “Butterslabs,” while working at a finance job in Salt Lake City.

Spaeth, who majored in finance and graduated last May, said the “Butterslabs” business idea originated from an entrepreneurship class in high school, where he entered a competition with a proposal and lost.

“We actually got last place in this competition,” Spaeth said. “No one believed in the idea and how it could make money.”

Spaeth pitched the idea to create a platform where people could “watch our stuff and our short music videos,” and compared it to TikTok.

Though the original idea was rejected, the logo lived on when friends of Spaeth made a few clothing items with it, according to Spaeth. They sold out within 15 minutes of selling them at his high school, Spaeth said.

“It was like we had a pop-up event at school,” Spaeth said.

From there, Spaeth said they promoted the business by creating videos on Instagram while working on the clothing items. 

“It just kind of continued to grow and get a little bigger,” Spaeth said. “We had a little bit more funding and money that we could put into designs and our marketing and stuff like that.” 

The business continued in college, and Speath said he had the support of his teammates on the lacrosse team to help promote the business. 

Jamie Hawkins, a senior business major, and Joe Kerval, men’s lacrosse head coach, were some of Spaeth’s supporters.

“In terms of supporting our guys, we set up classes for them to get direction on leadership and professional development,” Kerval said. 

Spaeth’s teammates have built a strong bond amongst each other and felt compelled to support their teammate and his brand, Hawkins said.

“You know, I played with Mike on the lacrosse team for a year, and we all knew about his brand,” Hawkins said “Knowing who Mike is, it’s hard not to want to support the guy, and I feel like it’s our job as a team to support each other’s dreams and passion.” 

Spaeth said that despite being busy with lacrosse, he still feels motivated to run his business.

“It’s definitely tough,” Spaeth said. “But it is motivating because you see how tight the community is and how many people support you.”

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Drake Middleton is a 4th year communication major, a captain on the men's basketball team and finds interest in writing about real life stories around campus. His favorite category to focus on is the lives and experiences of student athletes at Westminster University.

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