When I was in high school I ran a "skateboarding brand" where I hustled all my friends by selling buttons for 25 cents and stickers for 50 cents a piece. I would have one off decks made for myself and my friends as we formed our "skate team." That whole ordeal lasted a few years then eventually died off, but I'll always look back on it as my introduction into owning and operating a brand.
After high school I attended a local community college for graphic design, and eventually transferred to SUNY Purchase College where I received my BFA Graphic Design in December of 2013. In the summer of 2013 I spent a few months interning as a graphic designer at Mishka NYC in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Up to this point in my life I was only mildly interested in the world of streetwear and mens fashion, but spending a few months with the Mishka team definitely boosted my interest to a whole new level. I learned so much about the industry that you just couldn't put a price on, and I'll always be fond of the time I spent there.
For my Senior Thesis at Purchase College I aimed to rebrand an extinct baseball team where I would have the cap and jersey of my design manufactured by Seattle-based Ebbets Field Flannel. Going into my thesis I thought that my career path would lead me in the direction of sports branding, but it only took a few weeks of working on the rebrand to realize that what truly excited me was the fashion design aspect of the work.
After graduation in December of 2013 I decided to put life on hold for a bit while my girlfriend and I traveled the United States. We did a full loop in about 27 days that took from New York to Seattle, to Los Angeles, to Boulder and everywhere in between in the dead of winter. Along the trip we met some amazing people (including a stop to meet the team over at Ebbets) and heard some amazing stories. One thing that surprised me was how many people we met along the way that took the same exact trip at some point in their lives. I remember very vividly being at a party in East Hollywood and hearing this guy tell us stories of his cross country trip, eventually ending with something along the lines of "it's the beaten path, but everybody needs to experience it." That moment stuck with me.
We often meet our destiny on the path we take to avoid it.
While taking this time off from life and a "real job" I spent a lot of time listening to the record No Better Time Than Now by Shigeto. That phrase would be the one thing stuck in my head night after night. I had a college degree and was fresh off a month long vacation with nowhere else to be. This was the time I would take to develop my brand. What I didn't expect was to be sleeping less than 30 hours a week trying to develop the brand, but that's exactly what happened. I spent weeks on end developing patterns and graphics for this brand I eventually wanted to start, but I still didn't have a name.
On one of the restless nights I was having a conversation with a friend about the current state of small clothing labels and streetwear as a whole. Everyone and their mother is putting out a lackluster line of graphic tees and snapbacks to make a quick buck off the local kids. The idea of the average person running a clothing brand had become a beaten path. Everyone has done it and everything blends together. The last thing I wanted to do was become one of those brands.
The Beaten Path is a backhanded smack to everyone half-assing their way through life. In a market so saturated our goal is to put out a quality product that stands out. You won't see stock patterns, leather brimmed caps, or swaggy t-shirts coming from us anytime soon. Our brand is built upon honesty and integrity. We plan to build community and convey our message in every way possible.
We are the destroyers of false hope.