Cole has been a great friend of mine for years now and I've seen the progression of his business, watching him grow so quickly. Today I have the luxury of Interviewing him about his life and Super Ink.
Matt: How did SuperInk come into reality?
Cole: There's a huge story behind Superink, It stemmed from a previous apparel line I was working on called Fresh Apparel In Mind (FAIM). I destroyed my old laptop with all of my files for the apparel line on it so I had to start from scratch.
Matt: When exactly did it start?
Cole: It really started towards the end of high school senior year.
Matt: Nice, and I want to encourage younger entrepreneurs as well, so was it tough working on your side hustle when you were in high school?
Cole: Very, You either had money to start your own side hustle or you had to work odd jobs (really odd jobs) to make ends meet and to come up with enough funds to start producing a product.
Since I also lost my laptop it took me even longer to be able to start crafting designs again. So that set me back 2-3 months of working to get my MacBook Pro.
Matt: And how long until your first Shirt dropped?
Cole: It took about a year of scheming and planning before the first T-shirt came out. The feeling when your first product hits the street… it’s amazing. The feeling that people want your product, that was so cool.
Matt: Were you the person to go against the grain, rebellious maybe? Where did you find into for fashion?
Cole: I was the guy to wear red skinny jeans and not care about what other people thought about it. I was really inspired by Wiz Khalifa, His style is so raw and I appreciate that.
Matt: How did you get the brand out there when you first started?
Cole: So when it started making shirts and clothes and giving it away gets to be expensive. So I decided to bulk order Super ink Stickers and gave everybody I saw in high school one. That way, everybody recognized the logo and awareness quickly grew! Everyone would stick it on their phones and that was a big thing in high school.
Matt: That's something people overlook, I mean I’m a business person and I still would not have thought of that in high school. That's some smart thinking.
Matt: Bouncing off that, there are so many apparel companies coming out now since printing and starting a business has never been easier. They are created without any actual substance behind the brand. It’s just a drawing printed on fabric. Any tips for newer companies?
Cole: Nobody really makes a sale on the first thing they see, they want to know if the brand is cool, reputable and popular. Word of mouth is the best so if you can find a way to distribute your brand quickly to many people, that is key.
Also coming back to Brand awareness, I missed a bit of the boat because I just had a text logo for about a year before the palm tree logo developed. I noticed brands had a logo that represented them, like NIKE or VERSACE, ADIDAS etc.. I had to figure out what my 3 stripes were in terms of Adidas. I wish I had done that earlier. There were a few iterations of the logo and it represented my brand very well.
Matt: So people started associating the palm tree logo to your brand?
Cole: Yeah, so I knew it started working when my dad went down to a garage sale and one of the people at the house recognized the logo and was like “That's a super ink shirt! ”. It was a big “YES” moment for SuperInk.
Matt: That's wicked I know, Alicia and I started seeing Super Ink everywhere and it gets us so much more excited than seeing any other brand because we know what it represents and it's so trending. Alicia usually yells at the people with Super Ink on saying “NICE HOODIE”. Apologies to anybody who had that happen.
Cole: That’s what it’s about bro. Having people know its an Up and Coming brand and actively repping it on the street. It’s awesome.
Matt: It must be a great feeling when people are representing your brand. I’m going to break here so we can dive into Goal setting and advice sections for the next session.
Cole: Lit, shoutout to the people hustling every day and to Wiz Khalifa.
Thank for reading this Interview with Cole. We will have more interviews and part 2 coming out for this as well in the future.
Find Super Ink Here: https://www.superinkco.com/
And on social media here: https://www.instagram.com/superinkco/
Photo of Cole taken by @Hannahcoveyphoto