Chris Habermann woke up in a jail cell. Disoriented, he didn't know how he got there.

"I pressed the button and I asked what my charges were," Habermann said. "The cop just said, 'You really don't know what you were doing?' "

Habermann had overdosed on Xanax and had been found with drugs in his pocket and was now facing several controlled substance charges.

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"I thought it was a one-time deal," Habermann said. "I thought 'I'm not addicted, I don't have a problem. This was some freak accident.'"

A few months passed and then Habermann found himself in trouble again, this time for driving under the influence. Habermann hit another car, totaling both vehicles. He started going to an addiction group, saw the progress others were making and decided to commit to sobriety.

He will be two years sober in April.

Now, 21, Habermann and his best friend Soren Blomquist-Eggerling, also 21, have started a clothing brand called "Stay Alive."

The name of the company stems from experiences the Hallock, Minn., natives have had in their lives so far.

Blomquist-Eggerling has dealt with anxiety and depression most of his life.

"It was so hard getting up in the morning. Most mornings my first thought would be, 'Should I kill myself today?" Blomquist-Eggerling said. "Stay alive, it became kind of like a mantra."

Habermann was one of the only people who knew the full extent of what Blomquist-Eggerling was going through, and the same was true for Blomquist-Eggerling or Habermann. They could listen to each other's experiences from a place of empathy because of what each had dealt with.

"I can't remember a time Soren wasn't my friend," Habermann said.

Blomquist-Eggerling and Habermann started Stay Alive in January and are launching their website,, where they expect they will do the majority of their sales.

"We had been thinking about it for a year, this was Soren's idea in the first place," Habermann said. "We talked about it a lot. We didn't really know what it would take to do it."

Eventually the pair started looking into clothing wholesalers and screen printing companies.

Habermann and Blomquist-Eggerling said being in the Grand Forks region was a bit of a challenge in terms of resources. The pair has tried several different screen printers and went as far as Los Angeles to find a clothing wholesaler.

"Being in Minnesota, in some ways you feel stuck. But honestly, my time in Minnesota was creatively, probably one of the best times," Blomquist-Eggerling said. "A big part of creativity is taking what you're given, your constraints, and operating within those constraints."

Blomquist-Eggerling moved to Los Angeles in February. He had been in Minnesota and North Dakota for the previous six months working on Stay Alive projects with Habermann.

The friends have had their sweatshirts stocked in two streetwear shops in Los Angeles.

"I was actually in the store the other day when someone bought one of our hoodies," Blomquist-Eggerling said. "Didn't know the story or anything, just thought it looked cool."

Since starting Stay Alive in January, the pair have sold more than 50 yellow sweatshirts. The sweatshirts are eye-catching, with Minneapolis-based Suburban Electric's logo on the front and a graphic of their own design on the back. The pair plans to have a different "Stay Alive" logo on every piece of clothing they design.

"I've sold hoodies off my back before," Habermann said.

The friends have been doing the majority of their advertising online with social media and plan to continue to do so.

"We never saw this getting the response it's gotten," Blomquist-Eggerling said. "I think what we both went through was kind of preparing us for if this didn't work. I feel like we haven't even gotten started yet."