Be it a service you are looking to offer in the form of personal training to providing a product rich in heart-healthy antioxidants, my message revolves around passion and resiliency. At times it feels very clichéd to preach following your passions and staying resilient in the face of adversity, but that doesn't means it’s any less true. These are two terms tossed around fairly loosely, and more often than not, taking a step back to better understand the root of your passions and drive will greatly benefit you in the long run. These steps ultimately led me to starting Artists & Athletes Clothing Co., a brand focused on catering to the more athletically inclined. Some of what led me here may seem obvious, but sometimes the most obvious things hide in plain sight.
3 Tips to Develop Your Lifestyle Brand
1. Find Your Passion, then Chase it!
When developing a lifestyle brand, you are telling the world that the lifestyle you are cultivating is one worth emulating in one form or another. That’s a beautifully bold statement, and one that will be greatly affected by the level of passion you have towards this lifestyle. For me, I fumbled and stumbled my way into this realization. I found myself with an opportunity in mid-2011 to follow a dream of mine and become a small business owner in the promotional marketing industry. I thought I had made it! I was my boss, running the show, and following what I thought was my passion; being my boss.
Maybe it was naïvety, maybe I was just overly excited at the new-found freedom of running my business, but I came to realize over the following two years that I had no genuine passion for that particular industry, and it was holding me back. I was still very happy to be running my business, but the need to focus on my passions (beyond simply being a business owner) became clearer by the day. This ultimately led me back to what I understand and like the most, athletics (former collegiate swimmer) and clothes.
2. Stay Agile While Developing Your Brand's Strategy
Strategies will come in any number of forms. Finding the method that feels most comfortable to you in expressing your vision is a great way to define your strategy. My strategy came from learning to sew. If I could learn to sew and tailor my own clothes, then I could create a blueprint for moving forward. A merger of my passions for a fit and health lifestyle, and clothes tailored to accommodate said lifestyle. So that’s exactly what I did!
Going from the sewing machine, to having samples produced by a manufacturer, to ultimately launching the brand with a Kickstarter Campaign has taken a lot of work, with plenty of kinks along the way. And that is where agility within your strategy comes to the forefront. That blueprint you developed that is rooted in your passion will allow you to stay focused on your goals when challenges arise.
3. Stay True to YOUR Passion
This all ties back in with the first point of focusing and finding your passion. Once you have found the way to express your vision, always remind yourself of what led you to that point. Remember, you are chasing your passion, your goals. People will find out about what you’re doing and often want to share their two cents (sometimes more fervently than others), and that’s okay. Stay true to yourself and your vision, make adjustments when necessary, and continue down your path and you will achieve great things.
Graham is a designer and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles, CA. With a desire to create high-quality clothes for the athletic body type, he founded Artists & Athletes Clothing Co. in early 2014 to help merge his passions; artistry through design and athletics.
Graham can be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.