- Hello, can you give me a little bit of background about your outdoor apparel line?
FWD (Pronounced Forward) Clothing Company started in June of 2016 with the mantra of “INSPIRING OTHERS TO DO MORE.”– Do more for yourself. Do more for others. Do more to live a fulfilling life. A lot of our designs are centered around living a fun, laid back, and outdoor lifestyle with the idea of always striving to do more.
Being based in Nashville, TN – I originally started, and continue to do so to this day, creating Nashville centric apparel (Tees, hats, sweatshirts, jackets, etc.) to showcase the booming and ever-evolving city our brand started in. Coupling one of the hottest cities in the country with our own unique twist to each design, we have seen great success with the brand.
Comfort is, and always will be, a key ingredient with every piece of clothing we create. By creating what we feel is a great brand story, cool designs, and comfortable apparel…we have set ourselves on the right track for something special.
“INSPIRE OTHERS TO DO MORE” -> #liveFWD
- How did you decide on the name “FWD Clothing Co,” and was there any other names that you were thinking instead?
It’s interesting you ask this question…in a recent video we released on Instagram, I discuss why the brand was started and how the FWD name came to be. Originally we went with Going Forward but as time passed, we knew the adjustment to name was necessary and it would fit perfectly to the market we were after. It emulated the style of other brands we strived to be like yet allowed us to have our own unique story.
Some of the brands we appreciated that told a great story were ones like: (i.e. MVMT Watches, RVCA, Patagonia, etc.) – And a common thread throughout was simplicity and a minimalist brand name that spoke volumes when dissected on a deeper level! This was something we knew we had and really wanted so that is why we made the brand adjustment.
It’s important to note that no great brand happens over night. We may have pivoted our brand in the public eye (public eye of our 5K followers that is ha-ha) but it has been a key ingredient in our continued success today.
The word forward had appeared everywhere…commercials, billboards, license plates…you name it, I saw it. It was such a testament to my life story of always pushing FWD no matter what life threw my way…I knew immediately it would be a focal point in the brand name!
- Where do you see “FWD,” in 5 to 10 years?
The 5 to 10-year plan for FWD encompasses several of our own boutique stores in dynamic, hot cities like Nashville. The key, though, is to not move too fast and find just the right spot like our current Mobile 12 south Nashville location. Along with several of our own boutique stores, we hope to land a few larger retailers as well as expand our online ecommerce platform. Lastly, we hope to continue to spread our product offerings and continue making a huge impact around the world.
- Have any famous celebs worn any clothes from the collection?
We have been fortunate to get some awesome people to support the brand…one of our biggest supporters is Kip Moore. He fits the brand vibe perfectly and loves being outdoors more than anyone we’ve ever met. Plus, he’s one of the most talented musicians around and being that our brand was founded in Music City, what a better advocate to have than him!?
A few others we have had the pleasure of getting gear into their hands include Miley Cyrus (yes, she actually stopped by the mobile VW Shop in Nashville one weekend to purchase which was super cool). Michael ray and Jimmie Allen have been seen rocking our FWD Guitar Pick necklaces (something we dubbed “A PICK WITH A PURPOSE”). – You can check the necklaces out on our website to learn more!
Last but not least, we have also gotten product into the hands of several reality TV stars from various shows like the bachelor/bachelorette and Very Cavallari!
- What is one of your favorite event(s) to be a part of?
We love being a part of our non-profit partner Make-A-Wish of Middle, TN. Each month we sponsor one kid, create some awesome, one-of-a-kind apparel for them, and donate a certain amount of money that goes toward a trip they have chosen for their wish. Being able to meet these families and the kids is something that cannot be put into words…the only way to describe it is incredible. The positivity that radiates from everyone of them while dealing with such difficult situations is remarkable. On top of that, Make-A-Wish Middle, TN is led by the awesome Beth Torres and her entire staff/team are such a pleasure to work with! They also donate 80% of their donations towards the wishes year after year which is an incredible statistic for non-profits.
- Is there anything new coming up with your company in 2019?
We have a lot coming this year. From Custom manufactured clothing (shirts, ¼ zip pullovers, jackets, outerwear, hats) to Custom FWD Shades and everything in between…it’s going to be a big year for us! We are also hoping to land our first permanent retail location by this summer and are in talks to hit several music festivals around the U.S. so stay tuned!
- What advice would you give to a up and coming clothing company?
This is an awesome question and I have been getting asked this more and more lately (it seems to be a common theme ironically with our mantra being “inspiring others to do more”) ha-ha.
Anyways, although we have made significant strides in 2.5 years, we are miles upon miles away from where we want to be. We still consider ourselves to be up and coming as well, so the advice I will give is purely what I tell our team everyday. JUST START!
Take your ideas, put it out into the universe, and see what happens. Create a brand that means something to you, that tells your life story, and begin creating product and content for it! Your story may be just the key ingredient to helping someone else tell or find their story (in our experience, this has been key because so many can resonate with the FWD story of life’s ups and downs and simply having a lust to DO MORE in life). These individuals, in turn, want to be brand ambassadors which is huge for any brand).
Founder of TOMs Shoes, Blake MyCoskie, discusses in his book, START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS, that getting advocates or brand ambassadors…whatever you want to call them, is crucial for brand success. Imagine if you could have 10, 20, 50, 100, or 1,000 advocates telling your brand story because they were inspired by it!? With all the great advertising out there, there still is nothing better than a personal word-of-mouth recommendation! I truly believe that. So go build it and find your advocates!
The word lifestyle gets thrown around so much in today’s branding world but if you can truly and authentically create a lifestyle and story that resonates with others…you are on the right track!
When you fail, and I say when because you will, learn from it, grow, and let it go. You will have bad designs that flop, people will criticize your brand, and not everything you create will work…but that’s okay! Go back to the drawing board, use it as motivation, and keep pushing FWD!
Lastly, if you can consistently work hard, stay patient, and build upon as many genuine relationships as possible, you will do well!
Think of it like this, when someone goes into cardiac arrest, you immediately perform CPR on them until a more permanent solution is available. The techniques used in CPR provide oxygen to the brain and generate blood flow to the heart so that the person can hopefully and eventually stay alive. Just like breathing life back into an individual, you have to breath life into your business idea! By giving that idea life you are performing a business version of CPR that in a way exhibits C (Consistency), P(Patience), and R(Relationships). Consistently performing the correct techniques, patiently waiting for all the hard work to result in the best possible outcome, and relying on yourself and others to build genuine relationships will help your business ideas come to life!
- What is one of your favorite quotes?
There are so many quotes I love but one that has been with me since day 1 is this:
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog!”
This quote is everything to me because it showcases the idea that no matter how big or small someone is, if they have the determination and mindset to make it work…they will get it done! CPR!
- Is there anything else you would like to share?
I just want to thank you for this awesome opportunity to be featured on your blog! It is truly a privilege to have done this and it is our hope that if just one person reads our story, and is inspired, then we have done our job! So thank you for showcasing us on your platform!
Continue to create awesome content, follow your dreams & passions, and pursue your wildest aspirations!
Strive to do more for yourself, for others, and to live a life that makes you happy!
Welcome to the FWD FAM! #liveFWD #DoMore