You remember Richard, the quarterback of Venice brand on the up-and-up Those Folks, who we interviewed in late March about Venice, humility, and the fam (catch the interview here). This is his first post as a new contributor on our site. Follow him as he chronicles his & his brand’s journey up to the Bay Area - seeing their product stocked on new shelves, getting robbed, then spur-of-the-moment joining The Underachievers, Azizi Gibson, Denzel Curry, and Dillon Cooper’s tour down to LA. This is about learning things the hard way because of a deliberate choice to take the path less traveled. Richard and his crew stay hungry because it’s the only way to thrive:
There was so much going on in my head during the 6 hour drive up to San Francisco... We were going to have a release party at The Hundreds in S.F. but it didn’t seem real - is Those Folks really being sold in stores now!? Let alone at The Hundreds, one of the biggest & most established brands in the industry. I imagined that it would all seem real once we got to THSF and saw Those Folks on the shelves. I was right! Here we are, Those Folks is no longer being sold out of the trunk of a car.
This trip was kind of a big deal for us and I decided to only bring my Polaroid camera to document it. Using a Polaroid camera is great because you’re forced to be more selective when you remember how expensive the film is.
As a kid I wasn’t told “I’m proud of you” that often or hardly ever. The day before we left L.A., I was overwhelmed with people telling me congratulations and that they were proud of me. I grew up without my mother or father being around and I always felt kinda on my own. Now here I am as a young man building my very own brand and carrying the weight of so many expectations. The difference now is that I’m no longer on my own – I have my whole neighborhood behind me. My friends believe in Those Folks and I believe in myself.
It’s safe to say we got into this industry by accident, but that doesn’t mean we’re not passionate about our brand. In my opinion, we might be the most passionate brand that’s up-and-coming. We’re the new brand that not many people are familiar with. We have the most to prove. We have to prove that Those Folks belongs on the shelves next to these other brands – this is the test.
The best part of this trip and any release party we have had in the past is meeting fans of Those Folks and getting to know them. This is Julian - him and his friends drove to S.F. from Petaluma just to hangout and get to know who we are as people. They could’ve easily ordered our product online but wouldn’t you rather meet the people behind the brand you like to represent? It sucks when you support someone or something then come to find out they’re lame and not as cool as you thought.
Any and every time I come to San Francisco, we cannot leave without having breakfast at Golden Coffee. It’s like a part of the Those Folks religion. The idea for our “Breakfast of Champions” design was actually born right here inside Golden Coffee as Pemex & Rocko recovered from the previous night’s debauchery.
This was our 3rd time spending 4/20 here in S.F. at the infamous “Hippie Hill”
The most disappointing part of our trip was coming back to the house to find out it got robbed while we were out partying. As most brands might stay in nice hotels on their business trips, we’re just not there yet. We on the other hand stay where we can, this time it was with some friends in Oakland.
A great night turned into a shitty one when we discovered more than $10,000 dollars worth of stuff was stolen, including just about all the Those Folks promo we brought with us. We’re not used to taking losses but sometimes you gotta charge it to the game.
At least you might see some random people walking around Oakland wearing Those Folks, you know who they are!
The original plan was to head back to L.A. on Monday but I got a call from my friend Azer letting me know the “Eyes Of The World Tour” was in town at the same time. I decided to stay in the Bay and was invited to join The Underachievers, Azizi Gibson, Denzel Curry, and Dillon Cooper on their way down to L.A. – It was one of the best decisions I’ve made all year.
This industry might be oversaturated with brands but none can be compared to Those Folks – we’re doing our own thing in our own lane, and we’re not following anyone else’s footsteps. What might have worked for another brand might not work for us, I know that. I also understand while learning to manage our brand’s growth we will learn a lot of things the hard way through trials and tribulations – we’re ready for that.
There’s a difference between being thirsty and being hungry.