Name of your business: Free Minds Clothing Co.
How long have you been in business?: Almost 1 Year. I started January 16, 2013.
Type of Business: Clothing design and sales
Your Website: www.freemindsclothing.com
Include your business/brand twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook at your discretion.
well I was going to Towson but I didn’t attend this past semester because they messed up on my financial aid and I wasn’t notified until the last second, but I was majoring in Business Finance. I’m thinking about going back to Stevenson University soon, and majoring in business administration and maybe take some fashion courses. I went to Stevenson for about a year and a half before transferring to Towson.
Right now, I work for Bank of America, which isn’t a bad place to be, but I like being able to do my own thing. That’s another reason why I’m venturing into having my own business because honestly, I hate having a boss; I’d rather be doing something I can put my heart into.
My aspirations are to expand my line. I just started teaching myself how to sew yesterday on my day off, and already completed one custom shirt. It has a few minor flaws, but I’m proud of myself considering the fact that I’ve only barely used a sewing machine once in my life before yesterday.
I want to learn how to do some sewing so I can create more custom projects because that will add another element to my clothing line, as well as give me more of an opportunity to use my creativity.
A. If you are natural, how long have you been natural? How long have you been growing your locks?
I’ve had my locks since 2011, I believe. But, I already had hair before I decided to lock it. I’ve been growing my hair for about 5 or 6 years now.
2. What influenced your decision to start your business/brand?
I have always loved art and creating things. The original Unchained shirt started as a random late night sketch (left image). When I began Free Minds, I had absolutely no experience about the business end of the fashion world, and I’m still learning. I would’ve never guessed that I would be into designing clothes as much as I am. You never know the things you are or aren’t good at until you try. The desire to create something positive and something that I could be proud of is what inspired me to start Free Minds.
(the evolution of my original Unchained debut design)
3. What obstacle(s) did you face when you first decided to launch your own business/brand?
My biggest obstacle so far has been promoting my brand to a level of my satisfaction. In my opinion, my brand doesn’t have a very high level of public awareness. It is progressing, but it’s challenging to find the right people, or be at the right place(s) to effectively promote my brand. Things take time, though. So I’m taking everything one step at a time.
4. What keeps you motivated?
Other than striving to be successful, being able to connect with those who follow and have supported me thus far is what keeps me motivated to continue my brand. I’ve realized that the idea of my brand, which is centralized around being unique and positive-minded, has already inspired some of the people who follow what I do. I feel like now that has started, I would be doing a disservice to those people by not constantly moving forward.
5. Any upcoming news you would like to share with our readers?
Right now, I’m working on getting my upcoming “Free Minds in Paris” sweatshirts out. I just created a promotional video for on Instagram. I’m also releasing some various color beanies for the remaining winter into spring season, both set to be released sometime in January. I’m also planning to have another photo shoot early this year. Anyone interested in updates, or even possibly doing some modeling can visit www.freemindsclothing.com for more information.
6. What does success mean to you?
Being successful is very important to me, but not just for the idea of making money. In my opinion, being successful doesn’t mean how much money you have. Having success can be measured by how many people you help and inspire to become successful.
7. What makes your brand unique?
My brand is unique because I strive to put meaning into every design I publish. Over time, I have observed that some clothing lines will make products specifically to compliment items like a pair of shoes, etc. I feel like that objective follows what is “trending” at the time. When I design an item, not only am I trying to make something that appeals to the eye, but also speaks to people’s intellect.
Almost all of my designs, even my Elevated brand logo (above), carry a symbolic meaning. I think creating something that looks nice and has depth appeals more, and remains longer than creating something that just looks nice or matches with a pair of shoes. I have had some people tell me they purchased items of mine simply because they thought it looked cool, which by all means is absolutely fine with me; but I’ve also had people say they purchased items of mine because the design spoke to them. Not only did they like the way it looked, they loved what it represented. That’s what I believe separates my brand from some others.
8. What mark would you like to leave behind?
The biggest mark I would like to leave is to inspire people to go after their dreams. Anyone who has a goal or dream they would like to pursue, I think that if you believe in yourself, and in your cause, go for it. Sometimes, people are afraid to go after what they want because of their fear of failing. What they don’t realize is they fail anyway by not attempting. I believe if something doesn’t work out, it’s better to say “I gave it all I had” than “I wish” or “I should have.” It might take time to figure out what works, but progress is inevitable as an effort is being put forward.