With a little over four months left until the possible reelection of President Barack Obama, supporters are searching high and low for ways to drum-up buzz around our first black commander in chief. The latest — a 24-year-old Maryland native with a budding clothing business focused specifically at generation Y. Evan L. Marbury recently spoke with rolling out about his threads with a message, and the lessons something as simple as a t-shirts has taught him about business.–danielle canada
Tell me a little about your background and how you transitioned into your nine.four.three. business.
I was a graphic design major at Hampton University and my roommate was a business major and during our senior year he would walk around the house and say all these clever tag-lines and slogans; the main one being “Eff it, I’m a senior.” It stuck out in my mind and we soon decided to put it on a shirt. The t-shirts sold like crazy and became the unofficial senior year shirts of my graduating class. After seeing how well that took off, it led us to believe that we could continue creating designs and slogans that would sell. It was the perfect match, I was artsy and he was business minded which made for an amazing team.
What does nine.four.three stand for?
Nine.four.three was the address to our house when I was at Hampton. Since it was my roommate and I’s clothing line we only saw it fitting to use it.
What made you want to start your nine.four.three brand?
We [my roommate and I] saw a need in the market for high end, high quality T-shirts that depicted the emotions of our generation. Our customers can relate to the real-life sayings and mottos in our line. The ‘My President Looks Like Me’ shirt for example depicts the pride we feel to have a Black first family.
As a small business owner, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned?
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is your brand is everything. I’m really here to bulid my brand and build a customer base that will continue to return and spread the word about the product. Without that you have nothing, that’s probably the biggest thing I’ve learned.
Where can people get more information on you and nine.four.three?
nine.four.three is offering 15% off their signature ‘My President Looks Like Me’ t-shirts with discount code 4THOFJULY.