We interview Jovan Stroop of Thisrespekwear.
TM: To start things off, how did you come up with the name, Thisrespekwear?
JS: I came up with the name because all of the designs I come up you might not understand or get right away. You have to think about them and basically work for it like Respect (Respek). Respect is something that is earned and not given just like Thisrespekwear.
TM: How long have you been in the t-shirt biz? And what have you learned?
JS: I did my first design that I sold in 2004 so I am still a rookie (sort of). But like with anything else in life I am learning more and more about this business…one thing I have learned and I always try to remember is that nothing is easy and you have to stay focused and determined.
TM: Do your run your label alone or do you have a team?
JS: I do the designs and production . I have another person who does a lot of the promotion to various DJ’s, Music Artist and all the big wigs in the industry (Shout outs to Big Apple IMC). And I have someone else who I turn to for the marketing strategies and all the business related issues (Shout outs to Q from Fuzion Marketing).
TM: Where do you get your inspiration from when it comes to designing t-shirts?
JS: I love fashion and I love designing. I feel like fashion is the truest form of expression. My inspiration comes from everything around me…it comes from everything I see to everything I hear.
JS: That changes from month to month..lol but right now I would have to say it’s the “I’m So B.I.G” shirt which is a tribute to Biggie with a little Thisrespekwear twist to it.
TM: A lot of shop owners have trouble getting into retailers. How did you guys land your first retail order?
JS: I actually was wearing one of my designs one day and went into a store in Harlem NY (Shout out to Victory on 125th st) to buy some jeans and the store owner came to ask me about the shirt. I told him it was one of my designs and we immediately did business.
JS: I want to progress in every way possible…from marketing, designs to promotion. In the future I hope to have an entire clothing line in production (Jeans, Jackets..hats..etc)
TM: What tips could you give to others trying to get into the t-shirt biz?
JS: The most important advise I could give is to put your all into this business and don’t get discouraged. Just do what you love. Success, money and happiness will follow.
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