Meet Kenneth, creator of Shisty (rhymes with feisty) clothing. Kenneth’s interest in making clothing began as a hobby. He used to make clothes for friends, “distress jeans and stuff.” In his Freshman year of college, the name Shisty came to mind and he kept it. Under the new name, Kenneth began by making hats. He’d buy patches off of eBay and Amazon and iron them on. That alone began to get people’s attention, and that’s when he thought, “Okay, if people are enjoying the things that I’m doing with these hats, why can’t we translate it into clothes?”
Since then, he’s gone all in on Shisty, releasing his first collection just last June. Going into the design process for that first collection, Kenneth knew he wanted to model it after what he liked to wear, but not so much so that it would exclude others.
He calls your individual style your “drip.”
Kenneth really took his first collection as an opportunity to learn everything he could about the process behind making clothes. His story is similar to Noah’s with Madhappy (Episode 15) - when Noah made his first brand (Us by Mason and Noah) it was that first collection that really taught him the most about making clothing.
Making the clothes, though, is only half the story.
Kenneth says that his photoshoots are the bread and butter of the brand. The photoshoot is where you define who you want to wear your clothes and how you want it to look. Kenneth’s goal was to display real, relatable people wearing his clothes. He wanted to make it as easy as possible for the consumer to imagine themselves wear his clothes. He did a fantastic job!
Kenneth has got a new collection on the way for Shisty. He wants to start doing events and interacting more with the fan base. For the collection coming out, he wants to hold capsule shows - things where people can come to have a good time and experience the brand in person.
Kenneth’s first piece of advice was to invest yourself into your brand and to do it for the right reasons. If you’re not pouring yourself into the brand fully, your brand won’t reach it’s full potential. Not to say going “all in” will bring success overnight, it takes time as you’ve heard on this show so many times before. It’s that patience that tests your “why.” If you’re doing it for the wrong reasons, even if you are “all in,” when you don’t see a return on you efforts, you’re more likely to quit (and probably should until you adjust your "why").
A part of that investment is the learning process. This podcast might be apart of that, but it’s definitely not the whole of it. Really learn about your product, know it inside and out, “make it your child.”
Then you market yourself. You could have the dopest clothes on the block, but if nobody knows about them, everyone looses.
It’s patience. It’s perseverance. It’s belief.
One big tip Kenneth gives in marketing and community engagement is posting content of people wearing your clothes as much as possible. If you see someone at a party with your shirt, record it. If your see someone at the coffee shop with your hoodie, record it. Ask your community for pictures of them wearing your product and post post post away!
Why? Because people know the difference between contrived and authentic growth. Between attention grabbing and genuine community engagement.
Podcast SANS END theme music: Church by BenJamin Banger. Find him @ http://smarturl.it/hjfi20