Art Student Lands Wild Opportunity

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A Harborfields High School student has recently transformed her art idea into a business. Senior Katelyn Maher landed a unique opportunity to design a children’s T-shirt for the New York Wild Life Conservation, with her shirts being sold at both the Bronx Zoo and Central Park Zoo.

When Maher was only a sophomore, she enrolled in a computer art class with teacher Elizabeth DeVaney and was assigned a final project in which she created her own T-shirt design. She made a geometric animal themed shirt and wore it to school the next day. Not only did her classmates compliment her design, but DeVaney was so impressed that she told Maher that the shirt could be sold in zoos.

Maher decided to give the idea a chance and reached out to the Bronx Zoo a few weeks later. She was invited to a meeting to discuss the possibility of having the T-shirt sold at the zoo. The zoo was particularly looking for a design of a fennec fox and Maher ran with it. She created her own fox design and the zoo loved it. Maher founded KMaher Designs, created an LLC, found a T-shirt distributor and a printing warehouse. She even delivered the shirts herself to the New York Wildlife Conservation.  

The shirts were available for purchase this past June and when it was time to view the final product in the store, Maher was thrilled. The shirts were showcased in a window display at the Bronx Zoo and had their own set up in the zoo store. “It was cool walking in and seeing someone buy my shirt,” she said. “It was a very surreal feeling.”  

Maher is no stranger to designing. She created the sophomore and senior class shirts for this year’s homecoming day and plans to take her passion further by majoring in graphic design in college.