The story of a young man seeking to find his place in the world.
by: Rebecca Taylor
I want to start by telling you to never give up, no matter what anyone tells you. The people who tell you that you cannot accomplish something are either pessimistic, jealous, afraid for you or are too caught up in their preconceived ideas to realize that maybe you’re onto something. That something could be wonderful, or new or imaginative or that you’re so passionate about that the thought of abandoning it is enough to bring you to tears and make you feel like the entire universe has stopped spinning around you. There are more people than I can count who told me that I shouldn’t make changes to clothing designs or that there was something wrong with me for having my very unique style. The truth is there is nothing wrong with me. I’m just a guy who had a vision, one that was unheard of at the time.
For a long time, I had to wear hand me downs because my family didn’t have much money. I was in high school when I got my first real break. All boys and girls had to do sewing projects in home economics class. We were given material and told to come up with an idea of what we wanted to make. I decided that I wanted to come up with a really cool t-shirt and I did. To be honest, it didn’t look that good because my ability to use the sewing machine was very poor but I still liked what I had come up with and I told myself that one day I was going to get it right. Instead of using my birthday money to go to the store and buy clothes, I went to thrift stores and bought different items that I liked but that needed my own personal touch. I’d take designs from one shirt and add them to another. Some people just gave me funny looks, some of them told me I was crazy and should be doing other things like trying out for the basketball team. I played sports but that didn’t give me the same sort of thrill as wearing really cool clothes did and that I’d found a way to afford those clothes and give them my own touch made me proud. Some of the other students even tried to bully me because I was different. Fortunately, I’ve never been the quiet sort and I managed to get my message across that they weren’t the ones wearing the clothes so why did they care.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I got out of high school. The idea of being a clothing designer never crossed my mind because I’d been given so much flack about my own clothes from so many people. There were some though who applauded my passion and I fed off of the good energy and tried not to dwell on the bad too much, even though it much more frequent than the good. I got a job working in a sporting goods store selling. I got to choose the clothing that I wanted to wear in that store and I used my creativity and much improved sewing skills to come up with some interesting work duds. I often incorporated a sports theme into the design. A co-worker asked if I’d make him a few shirts that he could wear to work. I was only too happy to oblige. This was my first sale and it got me thinking that other people might wear my designs, so I put together a few other shirts. My boss gave me permission to sell them in the store. He was skeptical but willing to give me a try. I felt determined to prove to him that the clothing I liked to wear could become a trend. In time the shirts sold and I made others. I began to experiment with the designs, having a clientele enhanced my passion and my desire to push my limits even further. One day I attended a corporate event with my girlfriend and saw someone wearing one of my shirts with their suit coat, I was amazed. I realized that I had created something that couldn’t be bought in most stores. Without trying, I’d created a blend of luxury clothing and streetwear. That moment, I knew I wanted to give everyone a chance to buy my clothing. That led me to where I am today, starting my own clothing company. I couldn’t be happier knowing that I never gave up and that what started out as making clothing for me, turned into so much more. I know it is cliché to say a dream come true, but that’s really what this is, one wilder that I could ever have imagined.