There's a few fundamentals you need when starting an apparel brand, such as a name, logo, designs and the apparel. Let's break down how Broke was formed.
The name comes from two places, an old name and new idea. When I was thinking of creating a brand I already had a business name for my freelance graphic design work, called Broken Star Productions. I wanted to take a piece off that and create something new. So that's where the name started, but what does it mean? It was immediately apparent that the word 'broke' meant having no money, so I put some thought into that. We put so much value into money, but if we look past the number in our bank accounts we'll start to appreciate other things in life. Things like hard work, patience, gratitude, love, commitment, beliefs, honesty, friendship, etc. With that thought 'Broke' had meaning and a brand was born.
I had several designs already created that I wanted to attach to my new venture. Some fit what the brand stood for and some did not. 'Stay East Young Man' was the first one to fit. It was the reverse of the old saying 'go west young man', which meant in order to find work and be successful you had to move west and get a good job. I wanted to challenge that and encourage people to stay and make it happen right here at home. The opportunities are endless, especially in a digital age, we just have to work for it. I ordered a test print and my first t-shirt was created.
Now I needed a logo. I come up with the idea quickly, I sketched out the word 'Broke' in all caps and put a line through it. This accomplished a few things, it was visually interesting, it had a sense of connection, and it was creative way of challenging the word 'broke' (which was perfect for communicating the essence of the brand). Keeping in line with Broken Star Productions, I chose the colors black and yellow.
Now for the apparel. I decided, after much debate, to use Printful for production and distribution (I'll have a blog post just for this topic later) and I decided to start simple with just t-shirts. I settled on using Bella + Canvas t-shirts for the balance of quality and price. Deciding to launch the brand with 3 designs, I had 'Stay East', the Broke logo, and I came up with the 'Keep Moving Forward' tee. I ordered some of each to see the quality and I was ready. After linking Printful to Shopify, I had an automated system and an online shop to sell my t-shirt designs for my new brand.
With the brand created and shop live, I was ready for the sales to roll in. If only it were that simple. There's a lot to do and a lot to learn when running an apparel brand. I hope you'll continue to follow the process as I figure it all out.