Meet Amin, creator of Stay Cool NYC, a retro inspired chillwear brand. Amin was always interested in clothing and standing out - being unique. He spent a lot of time looking everywhere for clothes he liked. Sure, he found some, but why look for something you like when you could make it yourself? So about four years ago, with that thought process in mind, Amin went to a website called customink.com and made his first shirt - it said, “stay cool, people.” He ordered one for himself, and then texted his twelve friends and asked them if they wanted to buy one too. They said, “why not?” As his friends lived their lives wearing his shirt, more and more people began to notice.
So, he found a local screen printer on Google, brought his “stay cool” design in and had them recreate it. After some success with that design, Amin took a second to his screen printer. This time it was a drawing. Without knowing exactly what went into the screen printing process, Amin just showed them the drawing and told them where he wanted the colors. With that they created his second shirt. More and more people found out about the brand, Amin did a photoshoot, and ever since then he’s been building his brand and the lifestyle behind “Stay Cool.”
I want to make an important note here. I value the process of doing research, obviously, that’s what this show’s all about. If you’re listening to the show, if you’re reading this, then you probably value that knowledge too! Here’s the key: don’t let that desire to know what you’re doing stop you from doing it, because you’ll never be fully prepared. Sometimes you just need to take a drawing into your local screen printer and ask them to make a shirt out of it - that’s where you really learn, when you start to do!
He did it himself organically. The result? A authentic brand with a real identity for his customers to latch onto. He didn’t launch it overnight, there’s no one-hit-wonder here; instead, Amin’s slowly built his brand over the course of four years and beyond.
A lot goes into building a brand like Stay Cool. Amin’s made a playlist of songs that vibe with Stay Cool, he’s created an account @staycoolmagazine where he posts inspiration, and he engages his followers everyday with dynamic new content.
He plans to open a Stay Cool Diner, a Stay Cool Lounge, and a Stay Cool Motel. His plans for the future are lofty, but he’s in no rush. He knows that if he stays true to the brand, and works hard, these things will come in due time.
Next I asked Amin, “what’s next?” Like, the Diner, Lounge, and Motel are a ways away, but what’s next this summer? His answer was telling of his mindset. What’s next? “To continue to grow.”
Finally, I asked Amin for some advice.
He did say, however, to think differently. And this happens when you begin to create your own story instead of trying to emulate someone else’s.
When you begin to think differently as you write your own story, you’ll be able to make something unique, which is of the utmost importance.
It’s that story, that different way of thinking, and that unique product that will form your brand and how your followers relate to you. An important note on that: it takes time!
Last, but not least, I asked Amin how one might bring hospitality into their clothing brand (he studied hospitality at Boston University). He spoke in terms of Instagram, because it’s such a hot place to interact with followers and that’s exactly what he said you should do.
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Podcast SANS END theme music: Church by BenJamin Banger. Find him @ http://smarturl.it/hjfi20