I grew up in an average household with two hard working parents. My mom has always been the master chef and my dad was a jack of all trades living that entrepreneur life style. It was hard to work out what he did back then, one day he would be dressed to be putting in work on a building site and the next be in the flyest suit known to man with a stack of business cards on deck (Gordon Enterprise).
It wasn’t long before I picked up that hustler mentality and began to run with him doing car boots and setting up a sweet shop in my Auntie’s salon for the ladies while they got their hair done. At that age, 13 or so, I knew I wanted to be a Boss! Of what? I didn’t know……
March 2006 was when my life changed. The passing of my dad had my mind and hustle mentality shaken up. As a teenager just leaving school entering the big wide world, I hit the road for a bit trying to find answers. All intentions were good, but the circumstances had me going down the occasional wrong path, but that’s maybe a story for another day.
Further down the line a couple of years later I was working for my cousin opening and locking up his salon whilst working for my sisters company doing administration which gave me a real insight to the corporate world – particularly the long hours and tough clients.
Family have only ever been the only real employers I have worked for, for a substantial amount of time anyway. Being my own Boss has always been at the back of my mind, and working for family gave me real life insight into what it takes to run your own business even if I wasn’t in that place yet myself.
Working for a stranger on a 9-5 was never on the agenda and I think the longest job I held down at once was about two weeks. The fact that someone could just order you around without really giving a sh@t about you, I wasn’t down with that, and those experiences reinforced my desire to be in charge of my own destiny.
2014 Bookey clothing was born
So here we are 2014 the year Bookey clothing came to light. At the time, ‘bookey’ was a street term that you would call a person/situation to say that it was dodgy or off key. There were times I would pull up to my friend’s house or clock the neighbours at their blinds acting alert, just watching what’s going on outside. Seeing this happen so many times it was hilarious - it was as if they were paranoid or something. So, then I started to sketch that image one night and vision it on a T-shirt.
From that point on the whole range of Bookey Clothing being made into a streetwear brand was born.
I had my sketch made into a digital image and got some feedback. The hype was crazy, which gave me more motivation to take this to the next level. But there was only one problem. Money!
I managed to find a reputable screen printing company that provided the Ts so I got on my hustle and scraped together my first budget. I sold a few before realising that I can’t just order a load of Ts without a business plan in place. I also later found out that they weren’t the best of quality and immediately knew I needed to skip the middle guy and go to the source. That venture left me out of pocket about £2000 which knocked me back a hot minute financially, but I was already committed to this grind. I stayed educating myself in the fashion world and doing up designs while saving enough money to source my own manufacturer. That way I could get my garments made from scratch to MY standards.
Long story short, this is where I am today having just released my first initial line I’m very much at the start of my race. But it all came from having that dream to be a Boss!
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