Voyage Tampa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rico Williams.

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.

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