It’s November 2019. I’m sitting with my brother, Spencer, at Big Dean’s Ocean Front Cafe on the edge of Santa Monica Pier. It’s our first time setting foot on California soil and we’re half way through a week long vacation in LA. By this time, the shock of seeing this place for the first time had worn off and allowed me to begin to soak up the energy of the people and the landscape. I still can’t put my finger on it, but there’s an energy in LA that’s unlike any other place on earth. Whatever you might label it, I felt it that day. It vibrated through my limbs and shook my core. I felt the creative energy that engulfs Southern California like smog. It crawls in each morning from the coast and permeates the palm tree lined streets. It radiates down from the endless sun. It vibrates from everything you touch.
Sitting at the table, I stared out at the vast expanse of the coast line and began to describe it to my brother. I wanted to share it with someone, to make it feel more real, more tangible.
The more we discussed it, the more I began to understand it. And at that moment, I felt a rush of sudden realization come over me: I wanted to spend every last minute of my life creating. I had no idea what that meant or what I wanted to create, but I didn’t feel the need to explore it yet. I only wanted to remember that feeling and to bring it with me everywhere I went. Like something I put in the front pocket of my jeans each day before I go out into the world. I left LA a new person with a new mission.
Fast forward to March 2020. I’m in sunny Fort Myers, Florida with my brother and parents hiding out amidst the pandemic. Working from home allowed me to travel down to Florida and quarantine with family in warmer weather.
Something strange happens when routines are broken. You begin to look at things differently. Like you’ve been wearing sunglasses for so long that you’ve forgotten how bright your surroundings are, how vivid their colors. You re-evaluate all the decisions you made years ago that led you to your current circumstance. And sometimes you realize you don’t recognize the person that’s been wearing your clothes.
After coming back to Detroit from the LA trip, I quickly sank back into the daily routines. Morning commute, office, lunch, office, evening commute. On the outside, my friends and coworkers saw the same person. But on the inside, I felt like I knew something that no one else did. Like I held a secret. About myself, about the world.
It was at this moment in Florida that, when all signs of my normal life were thrown out the window, I decided to act. I saw a sliver of light shine from the cracked door and I kicked it wide open.
A few months prior, I had started designing t-shirts and hoodies on RedBubble and ordered them for myself and my brother. We’d have ideas about what shapes or colors we wanted to wear and then I’d go make it. I was designing for us. The kind of stuff that we loved but you couldn’t find anywhere. And I loved every minute of it. I spent an enormous amount of time in Illustrator working on designs knowing I’d never see a dime from it.
In late-March 2020, it became very clear what I needed to do. I decided I was going to take all of this creative energy I absorbed in Los Angeles and put everything I have into bringing to life a clothing brand. One that celebrates the creative energy that reverberates through artists, designers, entrepreneurs; creators of all kinds. I needed to share this feeling with others. And most of all, I wanted to talk about it with others. I wanted to describe it and give it form. And do it all in my own style.