These days you hear everyone talking about “making it”, from rappers to the bloggers writing about them, anyone and everyone on the grind wants to “make it”. For some people, this means the money or the social status they reach but for myself, dd was never created for any of that.
The ultimate goal has always been to express ourselves and the message behind dd to the world. Off the bat, a lot of people assume we have no message because they see the name “dime a dozen” and automatically think we stand for nothing out of the ordinary. Well, just like they told you in grade school, Dont Judge A Book By Its Cover. The story behind the name actually dates all the way back to my high school days. I remember my old basketball coach would say, “Good basketball players come a dime a dozen. For every 12 players, 10 will be good and 2 will be great. Which will you be?”. This really stuck with me and served as motivation not only in basketball, but throughout all aspects of my life. When it came time to name my brand, I knew it was gonna have to be something original and more importantly, something meaningful to me. I thought to myself, brands are always changing, always evolving so I never wanted to name my company after a popular word at the time like “swag, swerve, fresh, tight, etc.”. Instead, I wanted something that held its longevity and for me, “dime a dozen” has always served as pure motivation so what better name to give my clothing company. While the brand will continue to grow and evolve, the name will always remain relevant to me, it will always challenge me to bring out my best. It was just a coincidence it was founded by two of us but it worked out perfectly.
Towards the second half of 2012, I saw my efforts and attention stray away from pushing our message to mostly building the foundation of our company and structuring it for growth. Although this wasn’t a bad thing, focusing primarily on this and not keeping a balance between everything else was. We took a much needed step in the right direction as a company but I began to notice a dip in our focus towards pushing and expanding the message behind dimeadozen. Before I knew it, that small dip became HUGE. Lesson learned here: it’s crucial to maintain a balance. I got caught up in learning so many different aspects of the company from maintaining what you see – products, marketing, design and web, to all the behind the scenes stuff such as building a smooth flow, structure, and foundation. I got in way too deep on the structure and foundation aspects of things and before I knew it, I lost sight of what was really important. Unlike many other brands with the opportunity to push it full time, me and my team all work nine to five so we really have to put emphasis and push what’s most important with the time we have. I guess it really is true what they say about keeping your eyes on the prize – I’m just now realizing it becomes harder as you get older with less time, more distractions and real responsibilities. The way I look at it though is if you really want it, nothing should really be important enough to be a distraction – except family, family’s always most important.
Ultimately, the end result left us kind of quiet to the public and in the streets for the last few months while internally, we have laid a strong foundation to our company and more importantly, our team. With a better balance in place and our primary focus back to what it all means, it’s back to the fun stuff.
dd Headquarters 2013, let’s see what we come up with.