For as long as he can remember, Colm Dillane has been drawing. Drawing, soccer, and school were the pillars of his life. He moved from Beloit, Wisconsin to New York City at a young age and in New York - the easiest way for your art to get seen was by making T-shirts. Him and his friends knew a few people who had already started their own brands, so when they were just fifteen years old, Colm and about seven of his friends decided to give it a try - for fun. They called their brand BOTS - Brick Oven T-shirts.
The name KidSuper came when Colm and a friend were freestyle rapping on AIM.
His friend wrote back, “Kid Super.” Colm took the space out and the name just stuck. Well, they stuck with printing T-shirts too, and what began as a few T-shirts slowly grew into what the brand KidSuper is today. Ten years later, through hard work, they’ve grown the brand into a name under which they can literally do anything - clothing, an art gallery, music, and even what’s turning out to be their own television show (hopefully).
I asked Colm if he’s ever had a “big break." His answer was simple: “no.”
Dekel expressed the fact that, while they haven’t had that “aha” moment yet, they experience miniature moments every day. I was one of those moments - when I first discovered the KidSuper brand, I was instantly sucked into the crazy creative world that is KidSuper. I just knew I wanted to have him on the show. I guess you could call this episode an “aha” moment for the show.
They’ve had many people approach them saying, “you should be ten times bigger than you are.” Which is both encouraging because they’re on their way, and discouraging because they’re not there yet. KidSuper was built around the idea that anything’s possible. If you say it, then you can do it. Built it, and they will come. Long before the KidSuper name was coined in an AIM freestyle rap session, Colm’s embodied those ideas.
It's only a matter of time before they catch their "aha" moment.
We got talking about the Misadventures of KidSuper when Colm flipped the interview on me. “Do you think we deserve a television show?”
I said, “absolutely,” but honestly, you should take 15 minutes to watch and decide for yourself - it’s fantastic. Colm and his friends are in the process of pitching their show to television production companies.
We also discussed his first art gallery. It began in Gallery 151 on February 17th and was originally scheduled to end on March 8th, but was been extended until March 31st. In an Instagram post, Colm says, “the transition from t-shirts to the gallery world was always something I wanted to do.”
After the gallery show, Colm and his crew will be focussing heavily on getting The Misadventures of KidSuper on television. He’s also working on a handful of claymation projects for others. Finally, he’s putting his attention towards his next collection of clothing and getting into more stores.
Colm’s pet peeve is when people try and start a clothing brand, but can’t draw. He also had a long list of “not so fun” things involved with the process of making and selling clothing: manufacturing, relying on clothing, putting something up for sale that never sells, having to deal with boxes of clothes in your basement that no-one wants, having to deal with rejection, producing, learning the craft when you didn’t go to school for it, trying to get people to work for you when you really can’t make that much money - when it comes to "not so fun" things, “we have a million.”
One thing that keeps Colm afloat is doing freelance work for others - something other’s aren’t always willing to do.
Another common theme Colm’s seen in other's is a lack of persistence.
Persistence is why KidSuper is still alive. Persistence and brand. Colm and his friends have created such a culture around KidSuper that you don’t even have to know about their clothes to fall in love with the brand. Once people get sucked into the brand, then they just gravitate towards the clothing. One practical tip Colm gives towards creating this “magnetic” sort of brand is getting others involved - create a team, preferably full of friends.
What gets Colm through that long list of "not so fun" things is the bigger picture he has in mind. Clothing is not the “end game” for him - it’s a part for sure - but not the whole. His favorite part of the process is meeting new people who enrich his life and join him in what has become the crazy world of KidSuper.
He said, “as someone who can’t draw, you can easily prove me wrong… if you start now, in five years you could be a super successful clothing brand.”
Thanks for the chat Colm, challenge accepted.
Podcast SANS END theme music: Church by BenJamin Banger. Find him @ http://smarturl.it/hjfi20