The Unpredictable Storytelling of Streetwear Legend Joe ‘Freshgoods’ Robinson

(Featured Image: Hive Society)

He may not be from Los Angeles or New York City, but his hometown of Chicago is a booming hub for entrepreneurs, and streetwear designer, Joe Freshgoods, has certainly made a name for himself beyond the third coast. His talent for storytelling, eye for art and passion for his hometown are a big part of why the Freshgoods brand has thrived over the years.

He Started Storytelling Through Apparel 

Freshgoods went to the prestigious Lane Tech High School, on the north side of Chicago, and told Black Enterprise that he’d always been into style and unique looks. “In those days, I was trying to look different so I could stand out from the crowd. I had my homegirl sew bandanas on my jeans, and everybody went crazy. I realized that people like something I had only thought of a few days before. That was my ‘aha’ moment.”

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How to Copyright Your Artwork

Protecting your intellectual property as a creative individual is something of great importance in today’s world of copycat infringement. Your ideas are unique, innovative, a product of your hard work, so you deserve the credit! Copyrights were created for that reason, and we’re here to explain one aspect of copywriting in particular: protecting your designs on printed merchandise.

Image: Copyright CafePress

What is the Copyright Act?

Copyright.gov explains that the Act consists of “pictorial, graphic and sculptural works include two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic and applied art, photographs, prints and art reproductions, maps, globes, charts, diagrams, models and technical drawings, including architectural plans.” Paintings, sculptures, photographs and anything that satisfies visual artwork could fall into this category, as well.

5 Steps to Copyrighting

Once the creator files to protect their original creations, which must be “fixed in a tangible medium of expression,” and also exist in physical form according to Printful.com, the copyright goes into immediate effect. Authors can register their group of works on printed merchandise of no more than 10 unpublished items by the same person. 

1. See If You’re Eligible

Copyright.gov has strict eligibility requirements in place in order to register a group of unpublished works. You will have to confirm that you understand and meet these requirements before registering with your application and filing fee.

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A History of the Baseball Cap

Not all of us are going to be blessed with the athletic ability to play center field for the New York Yankees; however, we can dress the part thanks to the baseball cap. Baseball culture has filtered into many aspects of everyday life — from catchy sayings like “teamwork makes the dream work” — to our daily fashion choices. Baseball shoes, jerseys and caps adorn the streets of cities worldwide, but the cap, in particular, is a more popular way for both men and women to showcase their love for their favorite team or simply make a fashion statement.

Why the Baseball Cap?

Epic Sports makes a good point. The baseball cap is a big part of American culture, because of how versatile it is. It can be worn forward or backward. It shows off logos that aren’t restricted to baseball alone. But most importantly, it also helps shield your eyes from the sun, which is arguably, why it was invented for baseball players.

The Cap’s History

Speaking of New York, there was a baseball team back in 1849 called, the Knickerbockers, who were the first ones to start wearing straw caps on their heads, while they played. This was potentially the first version of the lid we now know and love. Merino wool caps came onto the scene shortly after, becoming a closer version of today’s cap. Players started to experiment with various versions, and the uniform cap adorning the team logo showed up early in the 1900s with the Detroit Tigers. Epic Sports says the stitched bill started in 1903 with sporting goods company Spaulding.

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Don’t Make These 8 Mistakes When Naming Your Company

Ten to one you’ve seen some really terrible company names like Phartronics Engineering. When starting your own business, it’s important to take into consideration how it will sound, how it will look and whether or not it opens the door for a joke or two.

Entrepreneur magazine outlined eight great tips for avoiding unfortunate company names and choosing the right one for your business.

Mistake #1: Design by Committee

Getting everyone’s input and opinion might seem like a good thing, but the more information you have, the less likely you are to settle on one idea. Entrepreneur says that a lot of small business owners involve their family and friends in the process and risk alienating the ones whose ideas aren’t chosen. Others choose by consensus—often resulting in a bland name. Instead, try to only involve the key decision-makers (the fewer the better) who are acting in the best interest of the business.

Mistake #2: Mashing Together Two Words

We’ve all seen them. Names like QualiServe and TranquiSpa combine an adjective and noun to create a nonsensical, made-up name that, let’s be honest, isn’t great. Each word on its own is alright—tranquil and spa, for example—but together, they aren’t an appetizing mixture. They’re not creative and they sound forced. You’d be better off creating something completely new.

Mistake #3: Using Plain Words

Companies like General Motors and General Electric are only good because they were the first of their kind. Unless you have a wildly novel idea, you’ll want something more creative and flashy. (And chances are, if you have a wildly novel idea, you won’t want anything bland anyway!) Take the time to come up with something creative that reflects your business.

Mistake #4: Using a Map to Name Your Company

A lot of companies use their location to help create a company name. Though this might seem like a good idea at first, it could actually hinder your business as it grows. Ever heard of Minnesota Manufacturing and Mining? We hadn’t, either—at least, not by that name. To avoid limiting the company’s growth, its name was changed to 3M, and it’s now known for its innovation.

Mistake #5: Turning Your Business Name into a Cliche

It’s okay to use metaphors in your business name, but try to avoid overused words like “peak” and “summit.” Instead, Entrepreneur recommends using words that describe your business in a creative way. They give the example of a data storage company called Iron Mountain, which conveys strength and security.

Mistake #6: Choosing an Obscure Name

In Mistake #3, we recommended avoiding plain words. But you also don’t want anything too confusing. Business names that are obscure, difficult to spell or pronounce, or complex won’t resonate with customers. Make sure your company name is memorable, but also easy to understand.

Mistake #7: Creating an Awkwardly Constructed Name

Saying “kwality” instead of “quality” is nonsensical. Resist the urge to replace a Q with a K, or an F with a Ph. They’re only more confusing for customers and make it more difficult for them to find you online.

Mistake #8: Refusing to Change a Bad Name

It’s okay to admit when you’re wrong, and it’s okay to change an ineffective company name to something better. A bad name won’t just go away and your business’ problems won’t just disappear. You might have to put in the work to make a change so that your business can flourish.

The bottom line is: Put some serious thought into your business name. You want something unique and memorable that reflects your business goals and conveys your message. Start brainstorming—you might have a stroke of genius.

5 Ways To Connect Better With Your Employees

When running a business, there are many factors to consider to be successful. While you need a solid business plan, and an on-point product that is appealing to customers, arguably the most important factor in running a successful business is the people on your team. A happy team leads to a happily run business, and the statistics prove it. A study by Gallup showed that companies with the most engaged teams are the most productive and profitable. Another study by the Society for Human Resource Management showed that 74 percent of survey respondents stated that their relationship with their supervisor was in the top five most important factors influencing their engagement at work. As a supervisor of a team, it is in the best interest of your company, your employees’ happiness, and likely your own to develop a good rapport between you and your team.

Here are five ways to better connect with your employees:

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Sustainability is Becoming Fashionable

Fashion is an ever-changing landscape. Each year sees new colors, styles, and materials fall in and out of fashionistas graces. While this evolving aspect of fashion keeps things interesting, it’s also contributed to unsustainable practices in order to quickly turn out the next hit trend. Statistics show that the average consumer is now buying 60 percent more clothes than they did at the beginning of the century, but only keeping garments on average for half as long. Because of this, a growing concern for consumers worldwide is that unwanted and discarded apparel is ending up in landfills, or our oceans, and they’re demanding a change. 

Sustainable Is In

Fashion follows the trends, and the past few years have shown the trends leaning heavily towards sustainability. One study showed that internet searches for “sustainable fashion” tripled between 2016 and 2019. This trend is led strongly by Gen Z and Millennial consumers, who together represent $350 billion in spending power in the US alone. Statistics show that nine in ten Gen Z consumers believe companies have an obligation and responsibility to address environmental issues. 

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Spring 2020 Color Trends

As the snow thaws and the sun begins to appear, we know spring is nearly here! With spring comes growth, change, and rebirth. Spring puts everyone in the mood to Marie Kondo their life, and their closets. Lots of folks will be looking to freshen up their wardrobe this spring, with some new clothes and some new color. When looking for spring color trends who better to turn to than the experts of hue at Pantone? Their seasonal predictions for spring 2020 color trends were seen everywhere across Spring/Summer 2020 runways this fashion season, and soon will be appearing in stores and closets around the globe.

Stay ahead of the curve and keep these color trends on your radar to anticipate the hottest looks your customers will be searching for this spring.

Pantone It!

Pantone’s color trends for spring 2020 show a return to the basics with bold, monochromatic, primary and secondary colors. Read on to see some styles that resemble our favorite five top color trends for this spring season:

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Turn Your Product Images Into DOLLAR Signs

One of the best ways for distributors to reach their target audiences and increase sales is through the use of shoppable ads. In recent months, Google added shoppable ads to its capabilities and Instagram is also promoting ways to monetize consumer searches for advertisers.

Erich Campbell, program manager of Albuquerque, NM-based BriTon Leap’s Commercial Division, believes these shoppable ads do, in fact, reach customers.

“Decorators and apparel sellers often expect customers to know what they want before they contact us,” Campbell says. “In truth, they often need a creative target. Shoppable ads allow us to give customers a vision. You can create something remarkable to get people in the door and discussing the possibilities.”

Let’s look at the benefits of these ads and how you can implement them into your decorated-apparel business.

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SSActivewear 90s color style

90’s Colors Are Still in Style

The 90s are back, baby! From skate shoes and baggy jeans to butterfly clips and tie-dye, the 90s are alive and well in 2020. The 90s trend has taken over the fashion world for a couple of years now, but that doesn’t mean that it’s slowing down anytime soon. If you thought your company could get away with ignoring it as a fad, it’s time to re-think your next product selection! 

One way to easily add a little 90s flair to your inventory, even if the 90s trend doesn’t really fit with your brand, is to incorporate more trendy 90s colors. So what should you look out for?

Neon

The 90s were a colorful decade. Between bright geometric prints and Lisa Frank, some styles in the 90s looked like they were straight out of an acid trip. Now, that doesn’t mean your inventory needs to be seen from space, but by adding some bright colors and prints to best selling silhouettes you can start adding in that 90s vibe. Think about adding in bike shorts or fanny packs, both still on-trend, in bright colors and fun prints.

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facebook ads

A Quick Intro to Facebook Ads

Whether you’re wholesaler or selling directly to consumers, marketing and advertising are an inseparable part of running any business. However, it can seem like a huge investment for small businesses with tight margins. Luckily, social media has made advertising easily accessible to companies of any size. Facebook is especially a great place to invest some of your advertising dollars and see a return on that investment.

If you’re just starting to think about Facebook ads, you’re in the right place. We’ll walk you through the basics, so you feel even more confident getting started! 

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