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YHP Interviews the founder of common cents

james trick

Hello how are you doing today?

Amazing, getting interviewed always makes my day

What influenced you to start common cents?

James and I have always been interested in fashion and art. We decided that we didn’t want to settle for ordinary life styles and to take a risk. We also knew that Comon Cents could make a difference in the art and fashion industries for the better.

Do you have any concerns regarding your target market; some consumers might feel it’s only meant for youth?

Our clothing was designed for the youth of this generation as well as anybody who wants to support our cause. Our designs were meant to be loud and filled with energy. We want to capture the essence of this lost generation. We couldn’t do that if our designs looked like they were only for the mature audience.

Well nowadays, it often seems like there is a lot of option for clothing, each offering different displays of personality, what would u say makes yours different from everything else?

skate is art

Aside from our designs, we pride ourselves for what we are trying to accomplish with this clothing line. Not only do we want to create a successful brand, but also support the art world along the way. We plan on aiding schools who don’t have the funding to support their art programs. Art is one of the only ways people can express themselves and get away from the many troubles of the world around them.

So the name, common cents, why common cents?

We originally wanted to have the name Common Sense to show that we didn’t appreciate the lack of rational thought the world has right now. We spelled the name wrong to be a little symbolic in a way. We wanted to show that even we are lacking a little common sense ourselves ha-ha.

I see your clothing displays a lot of personality through art, can you tell me a bit more about the art. Is it done by you, can consumers have their art printed?

The art work is done by me; I have been growing up my whole life in a household filled with artists. My father was a singer, my brother an architect and my grandma was a painter. As for having other people submit their designs, we really want to make our mark on the art world first to get people to know what we are about and what our style is. Down the line though we plan on doing many collaborations.

Money is usually seen as a big issue for any entrepreneur, how did you manage to raise money for your venture?

kris searle singing

Saved up from work, nothing too special. You just have to be able to watch every penny you spend. When you have your own company you are always on a budget.

Your website is still under some construction, what should we be expecting when it all ready to go?

Right now the only thing under construction is the portion where we have the locations of the stores that are carrying our product. We want http://www.comoncentsclothing.com to really be a place where artists can meet and discuss what inspires them as well as post their own work.

How would we be able to get hold of common cents clothing?

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aconover@comoncentsclothing.com or jschiff@comoncentsclothing.com,

Were there any challenges u feel you faced while starting your clothing, if so, how did manage to pull through?

We had many bumps along the road. The hardest part was actually to find a good screen printer. Another was finding the best target audience to sell our clothing to.

Would you say art or clothing was more your passion?

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Art has always been a passion. Clothing really started to be part of my life as I grew up a little and realized that fashion was a form of art in its own.

So when you guys are not busy thinking up big ideas, what other things occupy your time?

Museums, music, and probably the beach.

So how are you finding the life as an entrepreneur?

It’s the most challenging thing either of us has ever done, but it’s certainly feels like you are living life to the fullest and on your own schedule which is amazing. You really have to be ready to be obsessive with what you are trying to do, if you breathe for a second you are already old news.

Where do you see common cents and your selves in the near future?

We hope that Comon Cents will be a name tied to the art culture itself and not just a clothing company. We want to make an impact, and make a difference for others.

Thanks for your time.

Interviewed by Michael Adeyemi.

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YHP Interviews Nick Ferguson, Founder OF Sustain Fitness

Nick Ferguson

Hey Nick, how is it going? Thanks for your time.

Thanks Joseph, busy as always! Thanks for the opportunity!

Can you give us some background information about yourself?

I have been an athlete in many different sports over my lifetime, from a runner to football, to martial arts to cycling! Cycling was my final sport, I loved the freedom of it and the huge amount of dedication you had to have, just to be competitive. I went on to win 2 Junior national titles in 2006 and started developing further from there. I always loved being competitive and following after things I enjoy doing. When I was ‘growing up’ I could never work out what I wanted to aspire to, which frustrated me greatly! I thought, ‘how am I meant to plan out my life if I don’t know what I want to do?’ School was a bit of a struggle, although I did well, I didn’t really want to be there, I would have much preferred to be out training or learning something more applicable knowledge instead.

When I’m doing work, study or cycling, I like to play guitar, mix up music and play with fire – Seriously!

Fire Photo(2)

So tell us how you got into the fitness business?

I sort of fell into the fitness business.. It all started out because of getting hospitalised with pnemonia. I was in my final year at school, and was literally 4 days away from the national championships and I came down incredibly sick. I ended up losing my sponshorship and scholarship with cycling and was left a bit high and dry. I still hadn’t worked out what I wanted to do regarding my future career, and figured I better make a decision quickly! I wanted to do something different from what other people did – or at least what I thought they did… i.e try as hard as you can at school, so you can get into the best possible university course, so that you might use it for your career and hope you work out what you want to do in the process. I wanted to be able to apply myself fully to whatever direction I chose, because I knew I would be successful and I knew I would enjoy it.

I wrote down all the things I enjoyed doing on a piece of paper and then wrote down jobs I was aware of that included those things. Some of the things I wrote down included: cycling, meeting new people, helping people, listening to music. Turns out there is a job where I could do all of this, and get paid!

I started out in the fitness industry as a Spin (cycling) instructor at Next Generation Gym in Adelaide. I just searched for a job that I thought would make me happy.

Why did you start your business? Why did you decide to start your business?

I didnt start my business straight away, it took me a while to decide to make the step. I began to get frustrated that I was only qualified to do one thing at the gym, teach spin classes, so I went and furthered my education and took on the personal trainer course full time. This allowed me to do nearly everything I could hope to do in the fitness industry and I figured I would start out by taking on more roles at the gym. As I studied and learned more about the fitness industry however, I found out more and more that the attitude, structure and function of gyms didn’t really fit in with my idea of health and fitness. It didn’t represent to me what it was all about.

The idea came to me to offer flexible fitness, what if I could bring the fitness to them? In their own environment? Take out the hassle of making the time to go to the gym, because I will come to them. I saw this as an opportunity to start something with relatively low capital to begin with and where I was able to help people in a way that a gym couldn’t always do. Come into their life and help them change it. I had created myself a job!

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How is it like, being an entrepreneur?

That still seems such a strange term to be called. I always thought of entrepreneurs as people who turn nothing into something or something worthless into something huge and amazing! Being entrepreneurial has been one of the most liberating things for me though. I love the fact that any ideas, goals or aspirations I have, there is really nothing stopping me from trying to reach them. Often, there will be a lack of money, contacts, resources and time to make these ideas happen, but at least they aren’t being shut down by a boss that doesn’t share the same vision as I do!

The best part about it is the flexibility to follow whatever ideas you may come up with through to reality, the hard part is managing them all and choosing the best ones!

I think it is a diffifult thing to explain to others around you, particularly friends, exactly what it is you do. I’m still working that out myself…

At what age did you encounter your entrepreneurial experience?

I was 17 when I started Sustain Fitness, but looking back, I definately had some entrepreneurial flairs when I was younger, just lacked the confidence to follow anything through.

How did you raise money for your business?

Worked! I was working at the gym, earning $40 per week (one class). Lets say it was a tough few months start up… I had used my savings to pay for the personal training course, so I really relied on my new work coming through to put back into the business. I bought a basic array of exercise equipment for under $1000 and made use of that as best I could. This forced me to be very creative in my training methods and actually started out my fascination with bodyweight and minimal equipment training methods, which has been very successful.

Who are your main competitors?

Because of the relatively small amount of clients I work with and the specific nature of what I do, there aren’t too many other businesses I would consider a competitor. I say this because its not often I feel I have ‘lost’ a client to another business, its more I just haven’t found them yet! As Sustain Fitness has three main sections at the moment, I have different competitors for each.

The Fitness division has places like gyms, personal training studios and other personal trainers as competitors.
The Education division has places like Les Mills International and the Corporate division has other corporate fitness providers as competitors, but this isn’t yet a huge part of fitness in Australia. I’m watching this section quite keenly actually…

Is there anything you wish you had done differently?

I wish I had just taken the plunge and got some more funding straight up. Although its nice to be able to say I have done all this with no help, literally from scratch, I could definately be further down the track if I had some more financial support.

I would have spent more time on brand identity originally, to find out what it was I stood for (still working on this one) and I would have tried to remain more organized.

Basketball Winning Team 2009

What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?

Building relationships. People buy from people they like and trust. I think the more people you can interact with, show you are a genuine person, and that you are just out to help others, people will be drawn to you. I believe honesty, integrity and respect go a long way in any relationship, business or otherwise, and I strive to uphold these values with everyone I meet, potential customer or not.

I also think that my ability to adapt and offer what this industry wants has allowed me to grow. Starting out originally as a Personal Trainer only, I quickly realised there was only so far I could take this. It was a job, and there was no business when I wasn’t working.

I always look for feedback from my clients and people I meet about what they need, what they want, how they are finding what we are doing currently and what needs to change. I am always looking to find things I can offer that benefits the customer first, which in turn can benefit me.

What motivates you to remain focused on growing your business/website?

Sometimes, I’m not sure about this one.. I know on a basic level, I have bills to pay, and I can’t just tell them to stop for a few weeks, because I want a rest from it all… I think my drive to succeed, and be the best I can be is a big part of it. This probably comes from all my years of sports. I know that natural ability can only get you so far, but your tenacity, drive and creativity will get you the rest of the way.

Probably the biggest part of if would be that I want to enjoy my life. I want to travel, I want to be fit and healthy. I want to go out for lunches and dinners with friends, date amazing girls and do amazing things. The more control and freedom I have in my life, both in free time and financially, the more likely I will be able to do the things I want to do. I just don’t see how holding down a ‘good safe job’ will let me do this. This is what keeps me focused.

What has been your greatest challenge as a business leader, and how did you overcome it?

Probably one of the hardest times I have had was quite recently, when the financial crisis had reared its head, as well as the winter down turn also. I saw a 75% cut in my income, and was barely scraping by. Savings were dipped into – it didn’t feel good. So, I got a bit creative and dreamed up a few projects through gyms, build up a list of clients, invested in some new equipment, put HEAPS of work into it, to find out the gym wasn’t allowing the project to go ahead. When you get these sorts of dissapointments, you can do two things, give up, or find another way. Sometimes finding another way means shelving the idea for a little while and working on something new.

As it turns out, the gym h as come back to me for a meeting, after overwhelming member feedback asking for it to go ahead! We may have progress yet…

You are currently planning a 6 week challenge to find Adelaide’s fittest guy, who is that going so far?

Really well! It started this Monday, kind of amazing really. It all started out over a few beers with a friend, where we challenged ourselves to a 6 week fitness challenge to see how fit we could get. Just over a week ago, I got called up by a radio station who were asking for my advice on how to prepare for a running event, which turned into a promotional opportunity, we found sponsors, a charity, put up forms on the website and the competitors started rolling in! You can get so much work done in so little time if you set yourself to task. This has turned into a good opportunity for me to showcase my training methods also, because I can show people my results on myself over the 6 weeks. Time will tell! It will be good fun either way.

Do you have anyone you model yourself around?

I like to keep up to date on what Robert Kiyosaki, Richard Branson and Skip La Cour are up to.. Twitter makes this easier I guess! That is one thing I guess, I haven’t found anyone who I model myself on just yet. I observe the positive traits of people around me and try to model those aspects to make myself a better person, and learn to avoid the negative traits I see in people too! Sometimes I will see a movie that has a powerful character, such as Tyler Durden from Fight Club, or even James Bond in any of the more recent films… Not necessarily going to go and blow up some Aston Martins or pick fights with myself after watching them, but they are cool guys none the less!

Do you have any favourite young entrepreneur at the moment?

I met some great guys over in Sydney earlier this year for the news.com.au Australian top 10 under 20 Entrepreneurs actually.
Young Entrepreneurs 2009

Miek Jarocki from creditcardfinder.com.au and Ryan Djurovich from Antevo (Sydney and Melbourne) are doing really well at the moment! Also Shaun Stenning from Aus with his SEO and online Marketing Business.

What is your favourite quote?

I have a few, but I really like ‘The difference between a goal and a dream is the written word.’ ‘Follow your bliss’ also comes to mind.

What advices do you have for young entrepreneurs contemplating or those that have actually started their business?

Stay focused! Don’t let anyone or anything come in your way of achieving what you have set out to achieve. Aim high, set a very clear goal of what you want to achieve, write it down and have it visible to you every day. The ‘how’ will probably seem crazy, but don’t worry too much, it seems to have a way of working itself out.
Surround yourself with positive, influencial people. Their support and their success can help motivate you to achieve better than you thought originally possible! My mentor, Tim has been very helpful in this whole process. If you don’t have a mentor yet, what are you waiting for?

Finally, don’t be afraid to pay for expert help. Be that advice, services or products. The right investments can pay for themselves many times over.

What should we be expecting from you in the future?

Hopefully I’ll be getting myself more onto the public speaking circuit, I’ll be conducting some seminars at our FILEX fitness convention in Sydney next year if all goes well… I have a few decisions to make in the next two months regarding which direction I fully commit to, but if all goes well, you will be seeing a line of Sustain Fitness Workout DVDs, new certified courses for Spin instructors and Fitness Entrepreneurs, plus some exciting new content online – Videos, challenges and new content (www.sustainfitness.com.au). It’s going to be hard, its going to be fun. Can’t wait!

Cheers

Thanks for the time nick

Follow and contact nick @

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Interview with Award Winning Designer Samata Angel and founder of  Samatas’s Muse

moi

I’m sure everyone wants to know a bit more about you, can you please give a bit of background information about yourself?

I grew up in Cambridge and moved to London to study my undergraduate degree in Economics, Finance and Management. I basically used my time in London to get more involved in the creative industries namely music and fashion. I got involved in fashion shows backstage, assisted other designers and went to lots of networking parties. Graduating I worked as Head of PR for a Chelsea boutique and then Head of Marketing for a Japanese clothing label and it was these experiences that encouraged me to set up Samata’s Muse.

When did you start your business and what inspired you?

I think I was inspired to start my label after working for a boutique in Chelsea, London. I was surrounded by beautiful clothing and definitely got more of an understanding of how a boutique operated, how designers sold their clothing and the details buyers looked at. The shop was so beautiful and the clothing was so inspirational I knew I wanted to do something of my own.

You are some fantastic support from the likes of Jennifer Lopez, dawn (Danity kane) and Gwen Stefani, How did that happen and how does it feel?

I think that I am very passionate and hard-working so that definitely helped me network in the industry and create opportunities. I also had some great business mentors who give me the time of day so these elements combined create opportunities. Once your name starts getting out there people start coming to you too. Dawn Richards got in touch with me after seeing my label profiled on a popular website, others I met contacts for at industry parties. To be honest it is more important for me to get my brand out there and in communication with my target audience than with celebrities.

I mean your spring/summer 2008 collection was unveiled in September at the nolcha fashion week in New York, which is fantastic, how did that feel and when should we be expecting your next collection?

That was a really great and also stressful time as there was just so much to get done but it was all worth it – it got me connected with a global audience. I think I learnt a great deal from that experience and what it takes to be a global brand, which is what I am building up towards.

How did you raise money for your business?

I worked and got individual sponsors. Organisations like Business Link assisted with advice and direction too.

How do you promote your brand? And how effective has it been?

I create a good online presence and do what most designers do such as taking part in shows and events and being as active as possible. It has been effective in landing me interviews with the likes of LOOK, Big Issue and Pride magazine.

Samata

Do you read any books that you would to recommend to all the entrepreneurs out there?

I read autobiographies to keep me motivated and inspired and just to remind me of what goes into reaching a level of success. Right now I am reading Ander Leon Talley’s. Terry Mansfield gave me this great book called Moving On Up edited by Sarah Brown who collated inspirational real life stories by extraordinary men and women such as Richard Branson, Ridley Scott and Trevor McDonald. It’s fantastic.

Have you ever encountered any setbacks? How did you overcome it?

I think everyone does, it is just important to be able to stay focused and remember that anything worth having is worth working hard for. Not everything I do works out but I do my best and keep trying.

You wrote a book series called Fashioning your life, A clothing designer’s guide Volumes 1 & 2 last year, what inspired you to write a book? How is it going so far?
It was really whilst working in the fashion industry as a designer and doing various spots as a guest speaker at different business and enterprise events I noticed a need for a certain type of assistance for fashion designers. I wanted to share my experiences and knowledge in areas such as Marketing, PR and Trade Show participation. It is going really well, they sold out on Amazon in Canada and their success has definitely been helped by the contributions from the likes of photographer Nigel Barker (America’s Next Top Model), celebrity stylist Nick Ede (Project Catwalk ) and Jenny Holloway (Fashion Capital founder) who share brilliant advice in their relevant sectors

Can you tell us about how and why you got into “make your mark”?

In 2007 I was recommended for ambassadorship by Prime Minister Gordon Brown for national campaign Girls! Make Your Mark, a role which includes mentoring students and actively encouraging young people into enterprise through public speaking engagements. It is so rewarding!

Out of all the people you’ve met so far? Who’s your favourite?

I would say Dawn Richards from Making the Band’s Danity Kane. She is such a professional who is graceful under pressure and a genuine talent.

Who is your role model/influence?

I have lots! Oprah Winfrey, Terry Mansfield (Chairman of Graduate Fashion Week), Charles Thompson, my family, the list goes on!

Samata1

Do you have any favourite young entrepreneur/designer at the moment?

I have a number of favourites, I love watching to see what is coming up so I attend the Graduate Fashion Week shows and end of year shows. I can’t name one favourite!

What would you say to young entrepreneurs out there, trying to start up their own business?

I would say be yourself, be open minded and learn how to create learning opportunities for yourself – be at the right events, have your own unique style and make an effort to talk to people! Too often designers get intimidated by the flashy events but people are just people.

Do you think recession is a bad time to start up a business?

I am not a huge fan of scaremongerers and I feel that the ‘current economic climate’ is a phrase which is starting to grate on me due to the hugely negative connotations it is given. My feeling is that particularly for entrepreneurs, the ability to think of solutions is not that impossible – the recession means a tough environment but one in which we can flourish nonetheless for a number of reasons including reduced competition and lower costs.

What do you think is key in starting a fashion company, or qualities needed to succeed in the fashion industry?

Success involves having a number of qualities including exceptional creative talent and ability, a keen eye for detail and good communication skills.

So what should be expecting from you in the future?

More clothing ranges, maybe branching into accessories, more educational projects and more creativity!

Finally, before you go can you tell us why you’ve been this successful, what’s your secret?

All the so-called “secrets of success” will not work unless you do.

Thank you so much Samata for your time.

Contact and Follow Samata

Samata’s Muse
www.samatasmuse.com

Blog with Samata: http://samatasmusings.blogspot.com
Twitter Samata Angel here: www.twitter.com/samataangel

www.youtube.com/user/samatasmuse
www.myspace.com/samatas_muse

Samata’s guide book series has now launched! Visit http://stores.lulu.com/samataangel to pick one up and support Britain’s Favourite Designer.

For further information about Samata’s Muse visit: www.samatamuse.com

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Interview with Clive Mensah, founder of Rametré

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Rametré is a fresh and unique Clothing Brand coming to a store near you coming straight out da LDN. We take pride in making our customers feel different to everybody else in the way they feel and the way they look.

Hey Clive, how’re you doing today?

“I’m fine thanks the suns out so it’s all good.”

When was Rametré started, why the name?

“Well the Label was originally called R.A clothing which was the initials of my Grandmother who passed away in 2004. And are slogan was more than royalty. But R.A clothing didn’t have any ummmm… how should I put this It didn’t have that X factor. So I took the letters R A and used the abbreviation of the old slogan which is MTR so I was left with RAMTR so I just put two E’s in it to make sense and RAMETRE was born. It’s quite long I know but I feel it’s a name you won’t forget.
Since then the name has been getting around quite well I have been doing shows all around England and universities and grinding hard to get that exposure.

Can you give some background information on yourself?

Well im 20. Soon to be 21 next month God willing, I am also a Christian. I study Fashion Promotion at University of the creative arts, and was born and raised in South East London Peckham, with one older sister Yvette, we where both brought up with a Ghanaian upbringing. And anyone that is Ghanaian or from an African decent would know what that like. (Laughter)

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What inspired you to start up a business, especially a clothing line?

When I first started out I didn’t intend to create a business or clothing line I started out painting stencils on t-shirts for local MC’S around the area and I used to do little alterations for family members. And making African outfits for events like Ghana Independence, Nigerian Independence and various other events. But I have always been a person to try and get my hands on something that was exclusive that no one had. but I had trouble achieving this .because no matter what I got my hands on I knew deep down there is someone out there wearing the exact same thing. So I got into the habit of customizing any garment that I bought whether it was ripping my jeans to painting my trainers blue I would customize it. So then the idea came to me when I was on holiday in Ghana I saw so many designers and colours in the motherland that I thought I need to get in on this action. So as soon as I came back to London I went straight to work creating my own thing.

What do you think it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?

I think to be a successful entrepreneur you have to know your business like the back of your hand; many entrepreneurs out there tend to think about the money so much that they forget the skills that they obtained before they got to the stage that they are in. So I think the best way to stay successful is to keep studying and learning your business and everything surrounding it.

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Who are your competitors?

NO ONE I’m in a league of my own (laughter) nah I’m joking! I would say everyone in the street wear Industry or even fashion industry because you can never under estimate anyone. Everyone is always trying to come out with something fresh and exciting but my role is to take away that labels Buzz. And the only way to do that is to come out with something new that has never been done. You have to have a sense of uniqueness in this industry to survive.

Who are your target markets?

My target market would be anyone one that into street wear I don’t design clothes thinking “hmm I’m going to make this for someone aged between 14 to 30” my thing has always been if you like it buy it and if you don’t leave it for someone who does.

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Do you have any role model/influence?

God is my Role models no one else because I try to live by his word each day. Umm in terms people in the fashion industry I couldn’t tell you. Don’t get me wrong there are some quality designers from Yohji Yamamoto (Y3) to Ingo (founder of bathing apes) but I wouldn’t call them my role models. May be its arrogance in me I don’t know (Laughter). But in terms of influences I would say my BIGGEST influence is London city, I love my city with a passion and I try to express this in my designs. I really need to touch Trafalgar square and by one of them I heart London t shirts (Laughter)…

What are your likes/dislikes in the industry?

Well I have soooooo many if I was to name them all we would be here till 2018 but I would say one of them would be these rappers or musicians or just any of these so called celebrities coming out all these clothing lines. I personally think its gone way passed ridiculous now. Especially these rappers coming on the television saying “I’ve got this clothing line coming out its different it’s something that never been done before it’s a new look view designed it all” when you know they have no knowledge of the fashion industry. All it is to them is a just a little project. When you’ve got so many talented and passionate designers trying to push themselves into the industry but are blocked by money hungry celebrities. And the thing that hurts the most is that the general public are more likely to embrace them then someone that is just as good or maybe even better. This is a shame!!

Do you feel the recession is the best time to start a business?

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The recession is not an ideal time to open a business but nevertheless you never know when or how the recession is going to end. So I feel if you really want to start your own business I would suggest you do it when you feel you are ready personally.

How did you raise money for your business?

Well I used to sell t-shirts with my logo which was a Pitbull printed on it. And also do alterations for people so it was like the money I made of that I just started stacking and stacking. Until I was able to register myself as a company and actually put some money towards it.

What is the most important lesson that you’ve learnt from your road to success so far?

I would say the most important lesson is that in this industry you can’t wait for any handouts you have to get out there and grind on your own no-one is just going to come and say” hey you there I want to put you in a show” if you don’t put that hard work in you have to push yourself to the full extent and try and get yourself noticed.

What are your advices to any young entrepreneur out there trying to start up their own business?

As aspiring entrepreneurs your duty is to make money because at the end of the day it’s a business orientated field. But the most important thing is have a passion for whatever your doing if theres no passion it’s not worth doing trust me.

What should be expecting from you in the future?

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Look out for the summer release. We are doing collaboration with a surprise company so that should be big. Which is due for release early July? Also look out for the 2010 collection it’s going to be pure fire.

Thanks for your time and we wish you the best in the future.

Contact Rametré @

Facebook
ckmensah@hotmail.co.uk

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Interview with the founder of ItsUpshot, Sebastian Thiel

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Hello Sebastian, How’re you doing?

I am real good, just cre8ing as usual, working hard and staying on my hustle.

Can you quickly give us some background information about yourself?

I am 18, I was born in Zambia. I do graphic design, video editing & Creative direction work. I used to play basketball intensively, that was my life daily before I dropped out of college to start up Upshot.

Moving forward quickly, what inspired the creation of upshot?

The fall of another dream, that inspired me to create something else. I got Fed up of trying to go to the states for basketball. I initially started upshot to make money. My mission evolved once I realised what I could do with the brand, movement/family.

When was upshot born?

2007 August

I know you founded it, but how many people are involved in upshot?

2 Others are directly involved in the company in terms of ideas and so on, but there are many involved in what I call the upshot circle. The Upshot circle is put together of friends , family and talented people that support us and in return we help them in any way we can

Why start a business?

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Because I am in control, I can do what I want & make my own decisions. I find it hard to work for people in jobs such as retail and so on. I have my own visions, i am too much of an individual to be trapped in the box of modern day slavery, Hence why I thought outside the box and cre8ed Upshot 😉

How intense is the competition out there? How do you manage to stay in check?

I say, don’t watch competition. So I don’t know how intense it is… Ok let me put it like this, if you’re in a race, u waste time when you look behind yourself to see your competition, even if it’s a split second, that look can make you loose the race. I prefer to stay on my track and watch my own pace. I trust my road & I know what my mission is. People will fall off in their own time; i am going all the way with this.

Who are your target markets?

Anyone, everyone, him, her , she , we, them. Upshots Universal. Just like music. However we may appeal more to young people.

What tools do you use in promoting your business?

Online sites & flyers.

What has been your proudest moment so far?

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Winning the big challenge. £8000 funding. Thanks to all the supporters for voting for us.

What do you think is the top 3 things to consider before starting up any business?

* Make sure theres a gap in the market for what your offering.
* Know that everything wont be all good, there will be good times, bad times and a lot of risk taking.
* Do research and a business plan.

What advice would you say to young entrepreneurs out there trying to start up their own business?

Just do it. That’s what I did.

What do you do in your spare time? Any Hobbies?

Basketball but not so much now, i dont have alot of spare time. I love events with live bands, comedy, so i reach quite a few.

What would you be doing if you didn’t start upshot?

Basketball & University – I would still be designning but on a really small scale.

If you could go back in the time machine, would you change anything?

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Nope as I probably wouldn’t be the same person and i wouldnt have attracted all these events into my life. One decision can change your day from what it could have been.

Do you feel the recession is a good time to start a business?

I guess so as a lot of people are coming out of work. It’s the times of doing it yourself if that’s your kind of thing.

When should we be expecting the launch of your website?

I am in the process of getting it revamped. So i am not sure when it will be active again.

What should we be expecting from upshot in the future?

I don’t want to spoil it for you. But I promise big things in the future from Upshot and myself.

Finally, why do you feel you’ve been so successful, what’s your tactics?

I don’t think i am successful yet, no way near, upshots an underground baby. I can say to get to the stage i am at now it took hard work and a lot of strategic coincidences 😉

FU8ERS

Sir-Bastian.

Thanks for your time.
Good luck with your business.

Contact Upshot@
http://www.itsupshot.com
http://www.myspace.com/itsupshot
http://www.myspace.com/upshot_clothing
http://www.myspace.com/bassy23

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Interview with Shawn Hosea, founder of stacksanddreams.

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Stacks&Dreams Apparel is a progressive clothing line created by American Music Producer Shawn Hosea. The foundation of Stacks&Dreams is based on positivity and the credence of achieving the goals and dreams that one may pursue in their life.

Hey Shawn, how are you doing today?

Hi Joseph, I’m well. I just finished going over some designs actually.

You just officially launched your new clothing line, how was the feeling?

Wow, I can honestly say that it was one of the most rewarding feelings that a person could experience. So far, I’ve gotten a great response from the public. It feels good for people to accept and embrace what I put so much time and work in to.

Can you give some background information about yourself?

Well for starters, I’ll be celebrating my twenty-first birthday on the 26th of June. In my earlier years I grew up in a military household, so my childhood was spent in different states along the east coast. I can definitely say that being around different people in different regions is something that all people should experience. I live and go to school in Atlanta, GA now.

What inspired you to start a clothing line, you know, because you’re a music producer right??

Yes, music production is a big part of my life. I can say that music has an equal value with S&D on the list of my priorities. I started a clothing line for a plethora of reasons. The artistic aspect and creativity that comes with fashion has always intrigued me. Also, with me being the business savvy person that I am, I knew that I would have to spread myself into other markets for networking and branding purposes. Not only is Stacks&Dreams a brand, but Shawn Hosea is a brand in itself also.

So how do you cope with going to school and running your own line, I mean it must be tense?

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It’s not exactly stressful right now, because I just launched. I expect things to get a lot more strenuous along the way as I grow globally. The only tense part I’ve experienced before launching is working with different people on getting S&D prepared. You have to make sure everyone is always on the same page of your agenda. Luckily, I happened to work with some great designers, photographers, and printers.

Can you tell us more about what stacks and dreams is about?

Stacks&Dreams is all positive. The company mission came from my own desires and ambitions to carry out my dreams. The feeling was so strong to me that I felt like everyone should feel the same way. Everyone should have a dream or passion for something. I chose to get people’s attention through musically inspired art. I very much feel that music resonates with everyone worldwide.

Were you always into fashion or was it a new found passion?

It’s a little bit of both. I’ve always loved art and the way it can be transformed into being fashion. As far as the actual fashion industry goes, there were a lot of new things I learned once I decided to actually pursue it.

Do you have any competitors?

This is business so of course I consider people in my industry competition. At the same time I like what a lot of brands are doing with their companies. I find inspiration in how my peers operate. This is friendly competition. As competitors we are not trying to destroy each other. It’s like a sport. Were trying to see who’s the best.

Who are your target markets?

I don’t like to put S&D in a box because I feel like my mission relates to everybody. At the same time, I do understand that I cannot spread myself to thin. In this case, I believe my demographic is mostly the age groups of 13 to 35 and targets people who like art as well as music.

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Do you have any role model/influences?

Growing up, my uncle Billco was the biggest role model to me. He was the ultimate business man in my eyes, and I think that’s why I do what I do to this day. He owns and runs a barber shop in Gary, Indiana and has done so since his high school years. He’s never worked a job in his life! My parents definitely inspired my morals and work ethic.

What do you do to relax yourself? All work and no play make Shawn a dull boy right?

Ha, my work is never dull to me because I love what I do. I listen to a lot of music to get relaxed after a long day. Listening to music before I go to bed has been a daily practice of mine since before I can remember.

What is your favourite piece of clothing that you own?

Definitely my Adidas Superstars, classic shell toes. All white, with the navy blue stripes.

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What should we be expecting from you in the future?

Well, the fall/winter season designs are almost finished. For that, expect the line to have a more matured look and feeling to it. I have some great new ideas for branding so expect some crazy things! Keep up with the S&D Blog to stay up to date with me and the company.

Thank you for your time.

No problem Joseph and thank you for interviewing me. These were great questions.

Contact Stacks&Dreams@
Email:info@stacksanddreams.com
Website: http://www.stacksanddreams.com

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