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PP 160: Hellcats on Growing an Audience, Brand Cohesiveness, & Selling Merch

Perspective Podcast Episode 159 Artwork by Hellcats | Perspective Collective

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Hellcats on Building Your Brand and Growing Your Audience Before Slanging Merch

It seems everyone and their grandma wants to start a clothing line or slang merch these days (I say this because I’m guilty of both).

I get it, you want to see your work tangibly exist and find its way into the little nooks and crannies of this planet.

It’s dope to manifest your idea in your noggin’ to something you can physically touch. However, when you’re just starting off, you gotta keep your expectations in check, as finding success in these realms takes far more work and time than you realize.

Everyone wants the end results, but they don’t have the patience nor grit to put in the grind over time to tap into that success.

If you’re a long-time listener, you know I’ll never sugar coat shit here. I don’t believe in fluff or telling you what I think you want to hear.

You can’t just show up and put something into this world and expect people to buy it.

Trust me, I’ve been there and have learned plenty of hard lessons.

I spent 4 years building a clothing brand outside of college with my homie Dustin McLaughin aka DMAC aka Dusty Dink grassroots-style. We didn’t gain serious traction until year three.

Sadly, long-term success wasn’t in the cards for us, but I learned a lot—it’s what spawned Perspective-Collective..

Then two years into Perspective-Collective, I started slanging products on my own. I thought, because I had an Instagram audience of over 10k, that slanging 300 5×7” Change Your Perspective custom-lettered letterpress prints for less than $10 would be a breeze.

I tied a meaningful story to it and built a whole launch around it including a dope, inspirational video DMac created for me…I’m still sitting on just under 100 of those left, and the majority of them I’ve gifted away to people.

Selling your shit is hard work. It’s not impossible, but I feel there are solid guidelines and phases to work through in order to get to a point where people care enough to buy.

Today’s guests have been in this creation game slanging their own knick-knacks and dope little trinkets for a hot minute now. They know how much time goes into gaining traction and the effort behind the scenes of running a business when everyone else just sees the fun of designing and prototyping through social media.

I’m talking about my family over at Hellcats: a goods, accessories, and apparel brand ran by power duo Britt Reagan and hubby Clark Orr.

All of their products are designed and packaged in-house in their Winter Park, FL. studio. In fact, they MAKE many of their products in their studio by their own damn hands and then sell wholesale to their hungry clients or online and at events to drooling creatives like you and me.

If you struggle with building a cohesive brand or want to get started in the merch game, take notes as Hellcats goes deep into:

  • How to inject cohesiveness and alignment in your brand
  • Blending your interests, experiences, and skills together
  • Growing an audience before slanging merch
  • Showing yourself in your work
  • Supporting the homies, thriving under pressure, promoting yourself, pizza, and more

This episode isn’t going to tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear to tap into that long-term success. Nothing happens overnight so use this as fuel for your longevity.

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