Drew Sanders and Richard Faison are co-founders of The Aware Brand. The Aware Brand is an apparel line that educates, enlightens, and empowers its audience. The Aware Brand understands that self-awareness is the bedrock of self-confidence and self-realization.
Sanders and Faison spoke with rolling out about the brand and how people can better support Black businesses.
Why did you create this brand?
Drew Sanders: The time we started it, which was around 2015 or 2016, it was something for us as Black people to start thinking about who we are as people and being aware of the power that we have, and being aware if we come together and have a collective consciousness how powerful we can be.
We felt like self-awareness and self-love were the roots of that, so we thought about creating a brand that can embody all the things that we think our culture and our people need and use the apparel to be a vehicle to push that message. Like I said, the message is self-awareness and self-love and if we’re aware of that, and we own that, then I know we can be a powerful culture, which we already are, but that collective consciousness is what I think was missing, so we use the brand to kind of push that.
What do you think people should know about self-awareness?
Richard Faison: When you talk about self-awareness, one of the foundational things is to know your inner world dictates how you live your life. Your inner world dictates your outside world, so we just want people to pay more attention to what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling, and how that’s showing up in their life.
I’ve been working in mental health for 10 years with people who have schizophrenia, depression, and other things, so I see it firsthand. Your self-awareness really controls how you live your life, so we just want to further that conversation, and expand that conversation to the whole world because people are waking up and becoming more aware. We feel like we’re right in the pocket with our message.
How can people better support Black businesses?
Sanders: Support doesn’t mean monetary spending. You can spread the message by sharing in your Facebook group, text group, or any group, whatever that case may be. Just sharing a link or something or just saying, “Hey, I found this dope, Black-owned business, you should check it out.” It’s good to spread the word that way because the best form of marketing is word-of-mouth marketing.
Faison: I think we have to be intentional that we want to shop with Black-owned businesses. We’re always quick to critique and go off on Instagram, and rant about how this Black business didn’t give good service for whatever reason. We should keep that same energy for the other companies because other companies don’t come through as well.
Where can people find you?
Sanders: You can find us on Instagram @theawarebrand, and our website is www.theawarebrand.com.