Today we talk to Rico Williams, the owner of The Tribe X Brand. We talk about owning a business and motivating others to take on owning their own business.
This is a passion project. If you have a passion, contact 85visuals.
For more visit us at www.85visuals.com
Hi Rico, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Growing up in South Florida, sports reigned supreme. Football was and still is the way out for most kids. So I never envisioned myself doing anything else as an adult except playing in the NFL. However, when we weren’t playing football, my friends and I always wanted to be the “freshest” kids at school. So I guess that’s where my passion for fashion really started. As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to look good and having nice clothes made it easy to look my best. I remember wearing brands like FUBU, Sean John, and Enyce among others back in 2000 as an elementary school kid and pairing my outfits with the latest Iverson or T-Mac sneakers. And fast forward 20 years later and I’m the owner/founder of my own brand Tribe X. I started Tribe X back in 2016 and initially I only sold hats and for a moment I thought it would only be a headwear brand but demand grew and grew; now I’ve put out a number of apparel pieces and accessories.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Like any other startup brand or business I’ve had my ups and downs. I’ve over ordered products and struggled with selling them at my desired price. I’ve worked with embroidery shops that didn’t do quality work and I had to figure out ways to sell products that I personally wasn’t pleased with to avoid losing money. I’ve even had overseas manufacturers send the wrong product altogether after spending thousands of dollars and months communicating my designs. It all comes with the process when you’re someone like me who loves fashion but went to college for Finance, not Fashion Design/Fashion Business.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Tribe X?
Tribe X is a brand with morals and tells stories with each piece. Ultimately the brand is for minorities and our allies and I consider everyone that likes, shares, saves or purchases an item family forever because they decided to become a member of my Tribe by interacting and engaging with the brand in some way. I’d say my most popular piece is my “Blessings” crewnecks and tees. Every crewneck or tee that I’ve ever sold thus far has been stitched by me and I take pride in the fact that I learned how to sew from YouTube and was able to produce a product that people love so much. Even Rick Ross recently shared us on his Instagram story and shouted out our “Blessings” crewnecks. I’m most proud of the fact that I had a dream and a vision to create something and didn’t let fear or lack of money stop me from pursuing my goal. I want readers to know that we are a streetwear brand but more than anything we are a community and a family. We discuss meaningful topics with our clothing and our platforms. Topics and themes such as race, religion, and economics can be spotted throughout our pieces. But despite our differences we can still “embrace all cultures” no matter race, religion or economic background.
Who else deserves credit in your story?
I have to give a special shoutout to my wife. We were just dating when I started Tribe X but she has and continues to be a huge contributor to the brand. She has modeled, she has been a photographer, and she has been a brand promoter. You name it she’s probably done it and the brand would not have come this far had it not been for her.
Full article available at voyagetampa.com
If you have visited or lived in the Tampa Bay Area, then you’ve at least heard of Ybor City. Primarily known for its night life and free roaming roosters; Ybor City, is truly a city of its own despite technically being just a neighborhood within the city of Tampa.
Ybor City was annexed to the city of Tampa in 1887 and its concentration of diverse ethnic groups (Cuban, Afro-Cuban, Spanish, and Italian) was uncommon in the American South and added to the unique character of the town. While most of the Hispanic residents worked in the cigar factories, these immigrants also produced the beautiful boxes that held their cigars, operated small shops, and supported the service industries. Ybor City’s residents formed ethnic social clubs and benevolent organizations, which offered their members cooperative medical plans and charitable services. Because of its proximity to Cuba and large Cuban immigrant population, the town naturally became a center for Cuban exiles and political activity.
So, with the history lesson out of the way. We decided to link with upcoming model Sally Jill to shoot some fire content in a place that truly represents our motto of “Embrace All Cultures”.
Founder of Tribe X, Rico, discusses the real meaning behind our "Sacrifices" design.
Follow Tribe X @TheTribeXBrand on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Filmed by: @lifewiththecrooks
Here we were able to collaborate with some amazing creatives in the Tampa Bay, FL area while featuring some of our most popular "Blessings" crewnecks colorways.
Filmed by @lifewiththecrooks
Models: @titalowbudget | @ohhmygalyy | @tampabaybaes | @thelifebyash
Being Your Own Boss Talk
The “I Wish Heaven On All My Enemies” bomber was inspired by our current social/political climate. We shouldn’t hate a group of people because they do not look like us, or may not believe in the same things we do. Often times we let our differences create division between us, and ultimately we create enemies because of this. Instead Tribe X hopes that we embrace our differences and even if someone is truly an enemy, wish them well. Wish Heaven on them.
"Don’t Ask For Permission...
Ask forgiveness," as the great philosopher Aubrey “Drake” Graham once said.
Since starting Tribe X, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from other aspiring entrepreneurs. “How did you start your brand?” “How did you choose a specific idea or design?” But the one question I've heard the most is “What if no one likes my stuff?” This post is to encourage those who struggle with this very question and how to overcome it.
Soooo, the fear of not succeeding is a real thing. Trust me; I always think of the worst case scenario. What if I have too much inventory? What if I spent too much money? What if I can’t break even? What if this design is wack and nobody rocks with it? These are all valid concerns. Anytime I decide to release a product these concerns come up. Before designing my first product self doubt would always creep into my mind, which hindered me from putting out products/content into the atmosphere. It took several months before I came to a decision and just said “f**k it” and just did it. Being the CEO/creative brainchild behind the brand comes with certain perks. One of which is being, if I like it and would wear it then I do it. I don’t have to get the okay from someone else or run things by a team to get permission for anything.
However, having that control also comes with some cons. I am my own quality control and every product that I drop, I personally like which may or may not translate to the masses. So without much outside feedback it could be tough to gauge how successful a particular product may or may not be. The thing is -- you win some, you lose some. Every thing you do as an entrepreneur may not be a massive success. Ultimately, ideas you think were great may not go over well. This is something I have come to terms with. No matter how many products I sell, I know that I have created something that is personal to me and that I am confident in. I care about sales as any brand owner would, which ultimately equates to people liking my stuff. But more importantly I care about sharing my ideas and passion with others more.
If you guys didn’t get anything from this post, just ask yourself this question “What if I don’t share my stuff (products/ideas) with the world?” I would much rather try and fail rather than not try at all. And once you come to terms with this you’ll say “f**k it” like I did and start creating no matter what anyone says.
My challenge to you is to not let anything or anyone hold you back. Whatever you have been dreaming about; do it. I promise you will not regret it.
They say it never gets cold in Florida. Well we are bringing the heat with this behind the scenes look into our most recent Fall/Winter 2018 photoshoot.
Featured models: @nxjla | @jolieorourke | @shashabanga | @keosha_lenise
Photography | @tinaCphoto
Videography | @thesuaveone
Hailing from Orlando, Fl is upcoming rapper A-Wun. After attending the University of South Florida and creating a buzz on the Central Florida music scene A-Wun has continued to display his talents around the nation and with all of his accomplishments he was gracious enough to do a photoshoot for us. Here is a behind the scenes look into our shoot with him. Also be sure to follow him on various social media platforms. (Featured track Mannequins by A-Wun).
A-wun : @AwunOfficial
IG : AwunOfficial
Making waves in the South Florida rap scene is a young lyricist who goes by AC Smitty. Hailing from Carver Ranches, FL rapper, AC Smitty, sits down with DJ Smallz and weighs in on the state of rap music currently in his hometown, compares the music scene between Dade County and Broward County, and if there is any beef between the two adjoining counties.
Be sure to check out AC Smitty's mixtape "The Growth" and his new single "Waves" on YouTube and Spotify.
Last October, my travels took me to Toronto and Niagara Falls, Canada. It was my first time in Canada and it definitely lived up to the hype. Toronto is very cultured and definitely an international city. There are people from all over the world that call this place home. Everyone was very hospitable and followed every conversation with "Cheers". The landscape was amazing and we even got a little snowfall, which is always a sight to see being from South Florida. Given the beautiful landscape, it was only right to get some quality shots of the "LAVI$H" hat that I started my brand with and they turned out great.
Finally! I received the shipment of my first batch of hats. The Lavish hats. I was so anxious to release the project I had been working so hard on. So one day, I went to lunch on the Riverwalk and I thought "this is the perfect place for a photoshoot". In one direction we had the beautiful Hillsborough River. The River was lined with the brand new "Riverwalk" project that connects the Tampa Heights neighborhood with downtown. In the other direction, there's the Water Works Park, a park with a children's splash pad and playground. And in the background, the historical Tampa Armature building which is currently under revitalization. The sun was shining, the water looked beautiful so just like that, we went from having lunch to having a photoshoot. Here are some photos we captured.