As a Black Entrepreneur with 5 years under my belt I felt the need to break down what exactly “Support” is in having a streetwear brand. How important it is to spend within our culture, and how to go about Supporting more Minority owned Businesses. Many times in starting my own brand the Support wave seemed as if no one was riding with me, but in actually my Support system has always been solid. Actually what I thought I was missing was not a lack of Support but a difference in what motivated me then and what motivates me now. Who Supports me does not motivate me, deter how I create, or dictate how I run my business.
The common verbiage in starting a business usually sounds something like “Your friends won’t support you how someone who doesn’t know you will”, “black business take forever to ship”,etc... True statements for the most part I even struggle with shipping timely, dealing with different manufacturers, and everything else that businesses deal with on a daily. But there are many ways of Supporting, and as customers we have to understand that sometimes these new business are ran “out the basement”, it really is one person running everything, and that you are not only buying their product but Supporting a dream coming to fruition with that sale. Sometimes we overlook how important a retweet, or repost, etc. can help a small business no matter how many followers we or they have. Just because everyone you know doesn’t buy your product does not mean they don’t support you. A lot of times our friend’s word of mouth is the biggest Support you get in business. Word of Mouth is still king in promotion and rakes in more sales than any other promotion tactic out there. Recommendations reign supreme, every restaurant you’ve ever eaten at i guarantee someone recommended it to you, right or wrong. Word of mouth is powerful let us not discredit it.
I believe the expectation is a huge let down in business to some, and a huge motivational factor for others. Those that get hung up in the “I thought we was better than that! They can’t cop my product and we supposed to be friends?” speech you give yourself after your sales don’t flow in how you expected is what bothers people. First, friendships shouldn’t be based off wallet amounts or what they buy from you and vice versa. Secondly, you can’t pick how your friends choose to Support you, and you don’t know who they’ve given your info or high regard to. Also, Encouragement is Support, all those talks you have with your friends keeping you on your path is sometimes just the Support you need. As well as some people don’t spend how we think they do, some steal/scam and don’t want to mess with your business. Some may want to see you get to that next level before they choose to invest into your brand. But like i said its the expectation, and the difference in motivational factors.
Ive learned that if I create for myself and I enjoy what I make, instead of making things for people and hoping and praying they like it, I cut that expectation factor out. I like it, I don’t care who buys it, its for me. The motivation isn’t the Sales, its in the craft and liking what I create. Once it hits the site if it sells it sells if it doesn’t i’m still pleased with what I created its a bonus it sold too. I appreciate those who do buy and Support way more because it feels genuine. I can’t put nothing out I don’t without a question love it. People who buy into my creativity and not into “I gotta support my friend” which has become so crazy in this day in age because everyone is selling something so its like “damn i gotta support all of ya?? nah i’m good”. My motivation now is creativity, Being 110% Avante and bringing that to life through clothing, art, film, whatever I can get my hands on. that may not be the next man’s motivation and may not work for their business but staying true to what motivates you is some of the best advice I can give you. When it comes to Support from a business owner perspective, stop expecting it and do you. As customers we have to stop asking the questions that are stated in the caption. We have to click the link in the bio, and we have to be patient with these companies because they are not fortune 500 companies with 3,000 employees like Nordstrom or some shit. We are Supporting dreams and building bonds thru creativity, no matter how cheap or expensive it is because we’ve spent more with brands who don’t give a damn about our community. There is nothing wrong with supporting multiple people if you can. You are not tied to your friends label and their label only I see ya wear adidas sweats with Jordan’s all the time fake beefing, but seriously if your friend has a brand you should be treating it as if you gotta brand too and buy product the shit costs. If thats your dog you rep it like its yours nothing against anybody else but ride with your team. Rozay said it best in the last 15 secs of this Breakfast club interview.