December 10, 2014 3 min read

We are excited to kickoff our first startup interview for our "How To Start a Streetwear Brand" with a fellow Redditpreneur: 
Name: Webb Stolte
Streetwear Brand: Black Sheep Apparel Co. 
Repping: Kansas City, MO
Social Shoutout: Insta
Goal: To run a successful business

1) What was your reason or motivation for starting a streetwear brand?


There are multiple reasons I started my own brand, but the biggest is thegratification you get when you see other people wearing your clothes. Of course I love the creative control I have being my own boss, but I can't think of any better feeling in the world than seeing someone appreciate something you've made. 


2) What was your biggest challenge to get going?


The biggest challenge was promoting it. Thousands of kids have their own brand, so why should anyone pay attention to yours? One of the biggest drawbacks of being a small independent brand is that you have to take care of everything yourself; there aren't multiple departments to handle everything like in a large company. You have to make the designs, deal with manufacturers, handle marketing, etc. It's a full time job and it's stressful. It takes a lot to build a dedicated fan base that actually want to buy your products. A thousand people could like your post on Instagram, or favorite a tweet on Twitter, but how many will actually go to your website and buy your clothing? That's what takes skill. 


3) Any advice to the youngbloods thinking about following in your foot steps? 


If I had to give someone thinking of starting a brand advice, it would be start small. A rookie mistake that many people in clothing make, including myself, is getting in over your head. A lot of people will think that by having a large selection of clothing out at once, you look bigger and more established. In reality, most start ups won't have the customer base to move that much stuff, and it takes a long time to make your money back. It's also really expensive to get numerous shirts printed at once, and cut and sew operations can get expensive really fast. If you start out with 1 or 2 products at first and test the waters, you get a feel for who your customers are and what they like. You don't want to develop and order 15 products that no one will end up wanting. 



4) Whats your favorite get motivated quote?

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." -Confucius

This quote is probably the one that best sums up my attitude toward perseverance. There were points where I wanted to give up so badly because things got hard, but picking yourself up and continuing is what builds character and helps you succeed.


5) One product (only) are you most proud of and why?

My beanies. They were my first product and they got extremely popular. People I knew had to collect every style I offered like they were Jordan's. It has such universal appeal that everyone can wear it and look fashionable. I love my shirts and hoodies, but nothing sticks out to me like my beanies. Selling them also taught me to sew because I sew all the labels on myself. It let me build a cult following of people that became die hard fans. When you design a shirt, a hoodie, or a sweater, it might not appeal to everyone based on the design, but that's where things like beanies come in. 


Bonus Round! Top 3 hints for branding yourself and company?

  • Pick a name that you actually like and believe in, not just because you think will be popular. Test it out on people and gauge their reaction. Try to keep it to one or two words, because three or more rarely works. 
  • Be confident in your brand. It's like dating; if people see your confidence, they'll pick up on that and like it more. 
  • Do what you like. A pitfall of clothing design is following trends and straying away from originality. I'm not saying ignore the market demand, but doing what you like always works. If you just follow what everyone else is doing, you won't stick out. You set the trend. 



Big thanks from #TeamDieEpic 

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