If you’re a hockey fan (or follow any on Twitter), there’s a good chance that you’ve encountered the account Wheeling Problems.
The sometimes controversial, always hilarious account has garnered a reputation for offering up-to-the-minute commentary on all matters hockey-related.
What you probably didn’t know, however, was that this world-renowned Twitter account was created by Stefan Beyer, who happens to be a former UNB student.
A former AAA hockey player, Beyer didn’t start the account with the intentions of becoming an international Twitter celebrity — in fact, he was impressed when the account reached 500 followers. When asked how this colossal success got started, the Saint John native admitted that it actually all started as a joke one night.
“I started the account in February of 2012 and really didn’t put much effort into it. It was literally just a random anonymous account on my iPhone that I didn’t think would get much attention. I just said whatever came to mind and I’ll be honest, I was saying things that I wouldn’t have necessarily said on my personal account.”
Clearly Beyer’s words were hitting a chord with hockey fans across the world as he racked up over 2000 followers in one week. By the end of its first month, more than 40,000 Twitter users were following, favouriting and re-Tweeting Wheeling Problems.
Although gaining a quarter of a million followers on Twitter is no small feat, Beyer decided to expand upon the Wheeling Problems brand even further.
In the spring of 2012, Beyer returned home from studying engineering at the University of New Brunswick with the goal of finding a summer job. It was during his tedious job search that inspiration struck, and he decided to use his hugely popular Twitter account to market his own brand of clothing.
“I told my parents I had this Twitter account going and that I could probably use it to market my own clothing,” said Beyer. “They looked at me like I had two heads at the time, but with a little convincing they encouraged me to go for it. I had to borrow $2,000 from my mom to start the company and used it to buy 400 tank tops.”
The shirts were fairly simple, emblazoned with “Sun’s Out, Guns Out” — the perfect mantra for a summertime tank top. The shirts were an instant success, selling out within the first couple hours.
“I cleared almost $10,000 the first night so needless to say my parents and I were completely blown away,” said Beyer.
Two-and-a-half-years later, Beyer now offers 12 different articles of clothing for sale, including tank tops, t-shirts, sweaters, shorts, hats and even skate towels. It’s not just local hockey players snagging up the material, however. Several big name NHL stars like Taylor Hall, Carey Price, Gabriel Landeskog, Sheldon Souray and Jonathan Huberdeau have been spotted sporting items from the Wheeling Problems inventory.
“I noticed that pro hockey players had started to follow the account, which to me was amazing because I’ve been a massive hockey fan my whole life,” said Beyer. “Once the clothing line started I decided to ask some of them if they would mind wearing a shirt, and they were all super receptive to the idea.”
Despite all of his success in the Twittersphere and beyond, Beyer is still a UNB boy at heart, and is offering a discount on Wheeling Problems apparel to any UNB student. To access the discounted prices, simply message him on Twitter (@stefanbeyer8). For more information, and to order one of his products, visit Wheeling-problems.myshopify.com.
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