I’ve been designing forever , I’ve always been into art and creating things period. It’s been a little over 2 years since I started designing for ABEmpire Clothing co.
2) What inspires your different lines under the ABE brand such as the “Currency Cartel” & this new “Emperors line that is due out this week?
I like to bring a theme to all of my collections. There’s a story behind each design. Not just some sneaker match ups, that’s too easy. A lot of thought and research goes into each design.
3) What are some of your biggest accomplishments you have made so far?
We just did a collaboration with Sabit NYC and that was huge for me considering I used to visit his show room as a kid to shop before I even thought about owning a brand. But just being able to continue to create and collaborate with dope people is a huge accomplishment to me.
4) How global would you say your brand is today compared to five years ago?
More than I could have ever imagined. We are blessed to have strong supporters worldwide.
5) What makes a successful Brand?
Relentlessness , you have to be able to fuck up and keep pushing like nothing ever happened. A lot goes on behind the scenes of a brand that most people don’t realize. At the end of the day you have to be ready to fight through whatever this industry throws at you.
6) How can the people locate your clothing country-wide?
Most of our store accounts are on the east coast about 15 stores from Massachusetts to Florida. All of our stock locations are available on our website (www.americasbiggestempire.com .We also have an online shop and we are now shipping worldwide.
7) Who are some industry people you have built relationships with other than Waka Flocka who I have seen wear your clothing?
I gotta shout out my fam DJ DiamondKuts from power 99 she has showed me so much love in Philly. She’s one industry person that has become a friend to me.
8) What is the craziest place you have you shipped a package distance wise?
The first time I sent a package to the UK was crazy haha , I didn’t understand how we had that reach I thought I got punked.
9) How do you feel the people will respond to the emperors line?
The Emperors line is some of my best work yet. Dope concepts with a much cleaner look. It has already been my most successful line. I’m excited to drop it online for the world June 30th at noon!
10) What separates your teams grind compared to others doing similar things?
My team is incredible , along the years we have all became strong together. People don’t know that we have one of the most talented camps in the world. We all want to succeed and we work hard for it.
Thanks for having me on behalf of ABEmpire Clothing Co. We appreciate your support since day 1!
If you aren’t up to date with who Slownucks is they are an urban brand out of NYC who have Been on the rise for awhile now. 1/2 of the team Slow was attacked and stripped of his chain on the Hot97 Summer Jam stage in front of 55k plus people he believes the attacked was steamed from a beef with 50 Cent for taking a picture with his son. The pic is also below with 50’s response to the picture.
Attention everyone in the Lehigh Valley & surrounding areas this Friday January 31st Live on stage one night only MainO will be performing in Allentown Pa for Jamie O’s Bday bash live at Catch22 in Allentown Pa. This will be a movie make sure you attend shout-out to my partner Jamie O hard worker & a good person. The opening performance will be by the 610 posterboy @EzMuzik. If you ain’t familiar with Jamie O check this video below he puts in work & has met many of the greats & up coming talent. Be on the look out for MainO new EP K.O.B out February 4th @DatPiff.
This Tuesday, we’re honored to announce that we had the pleasure of interviewing the founder of the New York City based clothing brand: Burassi. As stated on his website, the brand “was created to promote and inspire people to follow what they love, and to never stop chasing it. Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it. No one can make things happen but you. The Burassi Lifestyle.”
The 19 year old is able to design his clothes, brand and market them, ship out, all while juggling his collegiate studies at the same time. His intelligence surprised us, and even in off-topic conversations he presented himself as a down-to-earth guy that keeps himself busy not just dreaming, but doing.
With his newly released Fall/ Winter line, we found some time to get an unfiltered interview with Greg and realized that there’s a lot more thought that goes into running a successful clothing label. Lets jump right in with Burassi.
SocialToro | So lets say were in an elevator with limited time, who are you and what is your business / brand about?
Burassi Apparel | My business is a New York City based clothing brand called “Burassi” that I started almost 2 years ago at 17 years old and have since sold to almost all 50 states and over 10 other countries. It was created to promote and inspire people to follow what they love, and to never stop chasing it. Some people dream of success; while others wake up and work hard at it. No one can make things happen but you. This brand is my story.
ST | What made you venture into the clothing industry? Was it about the entrepreneurship lifestyle, the creativeness of designing and branding your product, or the act of marketing your product? One, all or mix?
BA | Basically throughout my senior year of high school I started getting interested in the industry. I would check out what items the top brands were putting out and seeing what brands kids were wearing in my school. I was always extremely interested in business and the possibility of starting my own business. For a while I had been tossing around the idea of starting a brand and after a few months of doing my own research and figuring out how everything could be done, I decided to go for it. I was 17 years old at the time and had decided to start a clothing brand for two reasons. One reason was because it would be the perfect way to get some experience running my own business. The other reason was that with a clothing brand, I felt like it was a perfect way I can help inspire other kids. I had read and seen many entrepreneur success stories prior to this and wanted to show what I’ve got too. We honestly have such a great amount of access to the world around us and everyone is connected to each other somehow. Anyone can start something and anybody can be something. Through networking and utilizing the power of the Internet, anything is possible if you put the work and time in. Here I was, just a 17-year-old kid with a dream and this brand was my story.
ST | So lets talk about marketing for a minute. You’ve obviously done well as a young entrepreneur, and your designs and brand are on point. For the sake of the topic, how do you rank the importance of traditional marketing (print, ads, radio), digital marketing (blogs, social media, forums), and word of mouth on a 1-10 scale?
BA | Marketing the brand right was something I really focused on. I like things done properly and with a plan. Never try to create something without a plan, it most likely won’t work out. I was always a very observant person and took notice of many things around me. The way I work is very influenced by what I’ve seen people do and what has been successful. Right now I wouldn’t say marketing by print, ads, and radio is dying, I would say they are just less effective in certain industries. With the younger generation, if you want to make an impact through marketing, the obvious choice is through social media. For Burassi, I’ve only used twitter and Instagram to promote the brand. It’s pretty clear that digital marketing is the best method right now.
ST | So we can agree that digital marketing is an important factor to a brand or products success. So what are your go-to platforms that you use to promote yourself? And what is your reasoning behind them? Is it a time issue or is it because you see potential in the untapped markets of certain platforms?
BA | Like I said in my last answer, the only platforms I use are twitter and Instagram. These are the best way to promote the product and connect with the audience. It’s extremely easy to communicate with all your followers and it’s almost instant when providing new information or updates to your followers. I can’t think of a better system to promote a brand.
ST | So you’ve amassed an impressive following base of almost 9,000 to date on Instagram. Without exposing your secrets and tricks, what is one tactic you use to make not only your followers into customers but into returning customers?
BA | I really try to answer and communicate to all my followers and have good communication. I find that they really respect that because its something that these bigger brands cant necessarily provide. I’m the one who answers the questions on emails and run the social network pages, so when someone is asking a question, they are talking to only one person, which makes things simpler as well as helps create a better relationship between the customer and the brand. I also find it interesting because most of the times I find myself communicating with someone all the way across the country or even in a different country. What started with a dream, and now I’m meeting and networking with people all around the world in just a matter of months. Creating positive relationships is definitely key to a striving business.
ST | What is your personal view of the art and demise of hash tagging?
BA | I’m not too into it. I put some hash-tags on the Instagram pictures but its usually only one or two that are relevant to the picture. It’s not one of the most effective ways of marketing. The hash-tag that is most relevant is the #burassi hash-tag which allows people to see that people are wearing our products and organizes all the pictures into one place.
ST | After looking through your website, it seems to us you like to stay simple and stick to the point. How has having your own website helped your business? Have you ran into obstacles? And what are your views on the legitimizement of a business that has a website compared to a business that only has a Spreadshirt, or Big Cartel storefront?
BA | Yes, simplicity is brilliance. I think I got that from Nicky Diamonds? But anyways, when you keep things simple then it’s easy to understand and is straight to the point. People are less patient these days and may only give you a few seconds of their time to check out what you’re saying. Therefore, make it a quick and easy experience. Don’t put long piece of writing or irrelevant information on your website or social networks. Having the website has definitely helped the brand by giving it a professional feel. At the end of the day, I’m still just this 19 year old kid running the brand out of my dorm, but I’ve had people tell me that their first impression was that the brand was a major company and run by adults. It’s always cool to see people’s reactions when they hear that, and it just goes to show what I said earlier. The Internet is a powerful tool; take advantage of it.
ST | What is the message you would want to give to an aspiring business owner, hesitant to enter the digital marketing arena?
BA | The world is yours, honestly. Whatever you want to create, it’s possible. Plan your work then work your plan. Don’t take shortcuts and stay patient. And also… dream BIG.
As always, make sure to be a part of our community and engage with Greg from Burassi through his social media links below!
Julio Resendez is the owner and founder of SocialToro.com a web, logo, creative marketing, and consultation company based in Houston, Texas. His roots are founded by working with two successful record labels and his knowledge in guerrilla marketing led him to start SocialToro and help small businesses, companies, and individuals grow a following. He can be found on his blog writing about the intricacies of web developing, creative marketing, and holding weekly interviews with successful young entrepreneurs.