Duke & Winston started out as a single idea early 2009 to design a t-shirt with my bulldog, Duke’s face on it. I had no fashion background and was working at a horrible 9-5 IT Job (Client Services Specialist, whatever that means).
I printed 50 shirts and almost sold out in one day while vending at a street festival, I knew I was onto something. I quit my job 3 months later (in overly dramatic Office Space type fashion), sold my beloved car for $5000 cash on craigslist and have spent the last 3 years pouring my blood, sweat and tears into building a clothing line on my own (with some help from Duke).
The concept behind the line was to design casual tees for young professional types like myself who wanted a bit of refinement & thoughtfulness in their graphics compared to the horrible Ed Hardy style that was popular at the time. My inspiration was and continues to be drawn from historical imagery which I’ve used to develop an entire range of over 40 graphic tees.
BUILDING THE LINE
I have gained a small but very loyal following over the last few years as people I meet have been inspired/motivated by amount of work and level of detail I’ve put into bootstrapping & growing the line organically. The Duke & I complete over 50 trunk shows each summer all up and down the East Coast, I opened one of the city’s most talked about clothing shops 5 months ago in the living room of my apartment (where I still live).
REASON FOR BEING ON KICKSTARTER
I need to gain a wider audience for Duke & Winston as I believe I’ve done enough to develop a brand that has a ton of potential with a national audience. As it is, I am lucky to sustain the business based on the repeat supporters of the line but I am not able to grow or bring on much needed assistance.
The funds raised on Kickstarter will allow me to add a few more pieces to the product line and attend two major trade-shows in 2013 in an attempt to attract wholesale buyers for the line. These wholesale accounts will give Duke & Winston a national audience and will bring in steady revenues needed for me to build infrastructure and make this a long term venture.
USAGE OF FUNDS
Below is a breakdown of how I will use the funds I raise.
$5000 – for full collection samples (belts, wallets, button downs, jackets,…) ALL DOMESTICALLY MADE IN PHILADELPHIA, LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA & DOWNTOWN LOS ANGLESES
$10,000 – Cost to attend both NYC & Vegas trade shows in July. Cost include booth fees, booth design, travel expenses, design & printing of all marketing materials (photo-shoots, line sheets, look-books, business cards,…)
$5,000 – The develop rewards for all pledges given on Kickstarter.