Interview by Dominique Bancey
What’s your name?
– “Roosevelt Broome IV”
How old are you?
What is the name of your business?
– “Rich Apparels.”
When did you begin working towards said business?
“Rich Apparels began as a hobby. I remember sitting in my room on a group chat with two of my friends at the time and they were persistent that I should create something for my 30 thousand followers. After a couple of hours of thinking, I decided to create my first ever Rich Apparels t-shirt. I remember it was a black shirt, with a black/white floral print with the word ‘RICH’ in the middle. After creating my first Rich Apparels shirt, my cousin and I went Downtown and had a mini-photoshoot and once I placed the shirt online, to my surprise, my followers loved it!”
How long have you envisioned starting it?
– “Starting a clothing brand was an idea that I always had. Back in High School, I would experiment with many different styles to test boundaries and set trends of my own. I would shop at thrift stores for jackets, flannel button-ups, jean jackets, etc and I would rip them up myself or add patches to create them into a fashionable garment. Then when I would go to school, my classmates would ask “Hey Roosevelt, where’d you get that jacket from?” Happily, I would let them know that I created it myself but purchased the pieces from the thrift store.”
Have you always wanted to become an entrepreneur? If yes, why?
“I knew at an early age that I wanted to do something artistically whether it was being a clothing designer, an acting, a singer, etc. I still plan on pursuing those ventures however I am starting with my clothing brand Rich Apparels to be a stepping stone.”
How would you describe being an entrepreneur?
“Being an entrepreneur is rewarding. You have to maintain tough skin in order to be in the industry of entrepreneurship. You have to accept failure as a learning experience and challenge yourself to step away from your comfort zone and test boundaries. In the fashion industry, in particular, there are so many individuals out there creating clothes and you have to think “What exactly sets you apart from the rest?” and “What is my purpose?” Allow those two answers to propel you and inspire you to never quit.”
What pushed you to start this business?
– “The necessity for diversity. I wanted my clothing brand to have meaning and purpose. I want my brand to exude and embody empowerment and diversity. For example, for my last collection “Revolt”, I had shirts such as ‘only want you’ and ‘savage’ alongside a male crop top with the word ‘masculine’ across the front- I wanted to show that men can be vulnerable and masculine at the same time. I use Rich Apparels to speak out for topics I deem necessary and important to discuss. My slogan of my clothing brand is the “the t-shirt for any occasion” I want to show my existing customers as well as my new customers how to dress up or down a Rich Apparels t-shirt.”
What would you say has been the most difficult thing so far in being an entrepreneur?
– “The most difficult part in being an entrepreneur/fashion designer is relevancy. Things are changing constantly and there is a ton of pressure on keeping up with the trends and grasping people’s attention and keeping them engaged. With my brand Rich Apparels in particular, I think I have gained enough of people’s’ attention to keep them engaged in wanting more pieces from my future collections. Once individuals recognize your growth, hunger, and consistency for success and recognition, oddly enough, your buyers recognize that and will buy into your business. Anyone can start a business, however, not many businesses maintain longevity and that is what I am striving for.”
What would you classify as the best part of being an entrepreneur?
– “The best part of being a fashion designer is inspiring individuals. There are times where I want to completely put up the white flag and give up however, I will have someone message me on social media or telling me face to face how much my clothing brand has inspired them to start their own business or the positive impact my brand has had on them. I want to continue the path of inspiring generations before and after me, to take those dreams and mold them into your reality. Sometimes our biggest competitors are ourselves and once we overcome that and our fears, opportunities are endless.”
Would you advise others to become entrepreneurs as well? And why?
– “Absolutely! I believe that every single person in this world has a gift/talent in some way that could contribute to their entrepreneurship goal and could bring something radically different to the business world. At times, we battle “What would people say or think about this idea?” and people end up talking themselves out of possibly changing the world. This world is filled with dreamers and thinkers who are so creative however they should be pushed into putting their ideas out there in the world.”
What would you say to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
– “To anyone who is wanting to start their own business, my advice would be to take your ideas and run with them. When starting your business, always think of your purpose- Why am I starting this business? What do I hope to accomplish? Who am I trying to impact? Once you discover your purpose, everything will fall into place. I am always pushing my best friends as well as people I encounter to always push yourself beyond to what you can think. There are no limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence and imagination. Limitations only exist if you force them upon yourself within your mind.”
Finally, tell us what to look out for as it relates to your business and any other information you would like to contribute.
– “A lot of people think I have reached my goal of getting my clothes into stores doing, doing countless number of press and doing fashion weeks, however, people have not even seen the half of what I want to accomplish. Only my three best friends know my ultimate goal. I will share my ultimate goals once I have achieved them but in the meantime, I am constantly setting new goals for myself each and every day. In 2018, I myself as well as my brand are taking a shift in a different direction. Next year makes 5 years for Rich Apparels which means growth so I will just say everyone needs to buckle up because it will be quite the ride.”
As Mr. Roosevelt Broome IV stated, being an entrepreneur is a difficult task, but you have to be aware of what you want and the impact you want to have on others. I think it is safe to say that there is much to look out for at Rich Apparels.
If you are interested, you can check out Mr. Broome’s clothing like at richapparels.bigcartel.com and his Instagram is soberichs.
Until next time.