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Fraternity brothers redefine the fedora with luxury hat brand Wear Brims

Wear Brims founders Tajh Crutch and Archie Clay III (Photo provided)

Wear Brims is a unisex luxury hat brand co-founded by friends and fraternity brothers Archie Clay III and Tajh Crutch. Clay who is a graduate of Tuskegee University and Crutch a graduate of Troy University. Together, they are redefining traditional fedoras into the perfect accessory for any occasion. The American made brand, created by the two members Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., features unique styles that have been worn by Kerry Hilson, Karen Civil and others. We spoke with the BRIMS founders as a part of our Design and Dialogue segment regarding their business success and being a force in the community.

Tell us about your brand Wear Brims.

The concept of the brand started in 2016 with the vision of creating our own narrative around fashion. We knew that fashion was so different and hard to get into, but fedoras are an accessory that have been around for a long time and are very sustainable. Most successful fedora companies have been around since the 1800s: your Stetsons, Bailey’s, and Goorin Brothers. So we knew that there was a market, but we didn’t know how to get to that market. So I brought the idea to Tajh. I had a lot on my mind at that time and was really focused and ambitious to create my own narrative for myself and for my family. After I talked to him, I went to work and found a manufacturer. We had our first sample done within that first month, and they kind of started the whole vision around what we’re doing now.

What advice do you have for African American entrepreneurs?

Tajh — My advice for people that are just starting off is proper planning. Take that time and initiative to really plan out exactly what you want to create. Don’t just rush it because you see everybody throwing out their ideas and brands. Sit down and draw out exactly what you want to create. It might take three or four samples. Don’t panic at the time if you get a sample back and it’s not exactly what you want. Do your research, outsource, try different factories and manufacturers until you find the one. If you’re not 100 percent comfortable with the material that you want to create, you’re not gonna be 100 percent comfortable trying to sell it to your customers.

Tell us about the Brim Up Campaign and giving back to the essential workers.

Archie — We partnered with Chef JRob, and we created meals for Northside Hospital and Grady Hospital. The goal is to continue to push the narrative, take donations [and] do stuff at least three to four times a month. We realized that it is bigger than selling a product at the end of the day. We know that we’re going to sell fedoras, but what can we do on a bigger level to really have a bigger impact.

How did you find a manufacturer?

Archie — We utilized Maker’s Row to find a manufacturer. Our second manufacturer actually reached out to us. Also, consider if you want to be an international manufacturer or not. We’re American made.