So, what brought Burlaep to the Scenic City? When they weren’t busy doing charitable work in Honduras, Cleat and Lauren had started filling their time with weekend trips from MSU to Chattanooga, drawn in by the many outdoor activities the city has to offer. “Eventually, we embraced the inevitable,” Lauren laughs. “We packed up all our stuff, including our screen-printing equipment, and settled down in Chattanooga. That was about eight years ago, and we’re even more in love with this city now than we were then.”
The couple found a niche of like-minded individuals here, where many residents enjoy the outdoors, and Burlaep was officially born when they began printing outdoor apparel with the equipment they’d brought to their new home. “We ran Burlaep out of our basement from 2015 to 2020,” Lauren explains. “The community really seemed to enjoy what we had to offer, and before long, it became a full-time job.” In fact, their products became so popular that the couple opened a brick-and-mortar location at an impressive 7,700-square-foot site in Chattanooga’s Southside.