You can’t mention streetwear and not mention Dave Jeff. His PHLI brand has been a consistent and ubiquitous brand worn by countless individuals around the world. Jeff is a testament to being true to his community and his faith. As a business owner, he knows what is important to his growth and how to connect with the public. We spoke with Jeff recently and he provided interesting insight on his brand and future plans.
Tell us who you are.
I am a man of God, a father, a cultural architect, a builder of brands. I am a voice to many communities and positive energy at its best.
Give us a brief history of your brand. How long have you been in existence?
PHLI (FLY) is a backward acronym for “I Love Hyde Park” or “I Love Helping People” or whatever you can come up with. PHLI was the first streetwear brand and boutique in Chicago. The brand has been around since 2001-2002.
What is it about your brand that makes it unique?
What makes the brand unique is its bold designs with Chicago DNA as it relates to fashion and my spiritual outlook on life today.
What are a few challenges with running a small business?
The challenge with running a small business has been having a bunch of good ideas and not enough God ideas.
Talk about the Chicago Kids campaign you have going now.
The “KIDS” concept aims to honor those who have made a conscious decision to positively inspire others to be all they can be through fashion and other cultural aspects . No matter where you were raised as a kid, those childhood memories and influences have molded you into who you are today and will become tomorrow. The city specific “KIDS” garments are badges of homage to those who wear them, giving props to the city blocks and neighborhoods in which they grew up. I am a “CHICAGO KID.” I am a proud product of my experiences growing up on the city blocks of Chicago. I have decided to overcome the challenges that often plague our cities’ urban areas. I choose to better my community by bettering myself and those around me. I wear this garment as a badge of homage, honor and as a representation of my PHLI. It is a universal concept for every urban area. Replace “CHICAGO KIDS” with any of the cities: “NEW YORK KIDS”; “PHILLY KIDS”; “ATLANTA KIDS.”
What would you say keeps you motivated?
What keeps me motivated is GOD. It may sound cliché but PHLI was a vision that came to life not only for myself but for many others. Someone hits me on the regular and tells me how I motivate or have inspired them. To God, I give all the glory for that. My motivation is to continually be used by God in whatever way he sees fit.
What encouraging words do you have for our readers?
I would encourage everyone reading this to trust, lean and rely on God. Whatever God you believe in, get to know that God and live a righteous life.