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Starting a business is one thing, starting a brand is quite another.

I have never been the one to work a 9 to 5, instead I would rather hustle and scrape my way to a payday. I guess its been in my DNA since I was trading baseball cards as a kid. I just think I knew early own I was not built to be confined to work orders or making money for others. As far back as my early 20's I was trying different businesses, mostly retail ventures that always seemed to have a decent run but for some reason or another, (that some reason being me), would see them fizzle out. Fast forward to 40 year old Chris with my latest venture just about to have run it's course and I had no clue what was next. That would be until that one fateful afternoon while on vacation on the coast of North Carolina. I remember it like it was yesterday... my wife, Erin and I were taking our daughter to nearby Southport for ice cream. Now when I say nearby it was still a 30 minute trek from Holden Beach so we had plenty of time in the car to "waste" for lack of a better word. So we are spending that wasted time playing a game of "what if" and to be honest I don't even know if that's a real thing, I think it's just a game we made up. But the question was asked what if we had a clothing brand and what would it be. My daughter from the back says Proper Pirate, not bad I thought but as we knocked it around we decided on Preppy Pirate. So that was that, we ate ice cream, walked around beautiful Southport and headed back to Holden except the ride back was different. My brain, my inner being, my fire was blazing and it was all saying Preppy Pirate. I could not shake it. Needless to say I spent every waking moment on the rest of that vacation week dreaming of what would be my next venture. In 2016 Preppy Pirate Outfitters was born. By early 2017 Preppy Pirate was a registered trademark and believe it or not in a few stores.

Now that I have painted you the whole Birmingham, here is where I was going with this blog. Starting a business is one thing. It's a leap, it's a risk, it's exciting, and it's scary. But buying other brands to stock your store with that have already found some success, built a following, and for the most part established themselves, is a walk in the park when compared to building a brand from scratch. I still shake my head every time I see an ad pop up that says "start your own t shirt brand for $50 bucks". I'm like really, cause somewhere you guys have left off 3 or 4 zeros. Maybe $50,000 could get you a grassroots start but to be in the game... like really in the game $500,000 probably gets you a decent head start. Before we go any further I certainly did not have 500K just FYI. So anyway there I was in 2016 like a deer in headlights, I knew retail and l I have a really good radar for trends and fads. I was born with the "gift of gab", could sell ice in Alaska and all that, but starting a brand was a different story all together. So I started the easiest place you could start, t shirts. I got super lucky that the second place I went to (the first place seen me coming, they were salivating for a big pay day, luckily I was not feeling those guys) but when I walked in the second screen printer and pitched my idea I knew I was home. These guys were/are successful, a big operation who did not need my few designs and low numbers. But they listened and I will never forget Mark, one of the owners, who said something to the effect of "well Chris we get pitched alot, but