A chat with Better Sunday Club Podcast
We recently had the privilege of featuring on the 6th instalment of Better Sunday Club, a podcast run by photographer and a friend of Fade; Quinn Phelan. Better Sunday Club shares stories around bettering ourselves through ideas surrounding mental health.
Quinn shot a campaign for us earlier in the year for the release of our Logo tees. Being able to collaborate with like-minded creative people like Quinn, is a huge driving force for us at Fade. The better the energy between us and our creative friends, the better it translates across the work we produce and the outcome of the project.
We love Quinns work for his eye for detail and his easygoingness, so we naturally jumped at the opportunity to collaborate on his own platform. We’ve seen the power of korero and like you’ll hear in the podcast, if we can impact just one person, then that’s our job done. So here are some excerpts from our chat about our personal journey, our brand's ethos, challenges we’ve faced and our vision for Fade. You can find the full chat on Spotify, here.
Disclaimer: It is our first podcast feature so we hope you enjoy it - awkward pauses, stutters and all.
Q: What inspired you to start this journey?
P: I went to Uni for graphic design, learnt how to screen print. I made a design based off this Kanye West song; Fade. Pretty much just ripped off the graphic then made my own changes and put it on Instagram (for fun), once people saw they were wanting some tees and then I met Jarrod a few months after and he was wanting a tee. So (I) started making him one, a few of my friends one. From then we started playing with the idea of it being a feasible business.
J: You go from making a few tees to start to really think about taking things seriously…everything sort of gets more daunting. Like ‘is it a good idea? Should we spend our own money?’ but I guess looking back it's the best decision we’ve made. We've been able to meet so many great people. The connections we've made, it’s all due to starting Fade.
Q: Your ethos is based around this Friends and Family vibe
P: That's how it came about just providing for our friends and family and it turned into our tagline. When you think about those closest to you, you think about your friends and family. Where we envision it (Fade) is up there, we want it to become a household brand name that is something you hold as close to you as your friends and family. We also wanted to base our business around our personal values and attributes.
J: Naturally it blends in with what we do with Fade, when we met Quinn, it was like we’d known each other for ages. If we can do that (communicating our values) without saying it, it speaks to how strong our brand ethos is. I think that's one of our greatest strengths, we’ve been able to gel so nicely with so many people.
P: It felt quite natural. You obviously have to go out of your comfort zone to meet new people and network, it comes easier to us trying to connect on a personal level, before trying to push our brand.
Q: Talking about growth, talk us through some of the challenges you've faced and what you’ve learnt from it
J: Persistence. There's gonna be times where you have self doubt and doubt what you're doing. When you dedicate a lot of time to something and you might not be seeing the fruits of your labour straight away, it's easy to lose that drive. When your why and passion is strong enough and you keep on persevering and pushing through, all that work starts to have that snowball effect and starts to be noticed.
P: My biggest challenge has been the risk factor. The creativity is there but with entrepreneurship and being serious about business there is an element of calculated risk. The investment of your time and your money, it’s taken a lot of encouragement from Jarrod to push me to want to take more risks.
J: Without risk there's no growth. Calculated risk definitely, I think we compliment each other quite well where one of us is having a down moment, the other picks us up to keep us on track.
Q: Moving into your vision with the brand, how would you incorporate that into the culture with what you’re creating with the brand?
P: Going back to the collaboration part, wanting to uplift the creative scene in Auckland and NZ has been a driving factor. It's really cool to be able to connect with creatives like yourself Quinn, Mataara, Geoffery. Making decisions based off of that to uplift other creators in the same industry and give opportunities to people and bounce ideas off each other.
J: The visions to be able to create genuine friendships along the way. It’s a big part of our brand and we want to be able to bring that to all facets. I think challenging the notion of networking - sometimes networking can be seen as a business transaction. We take a different approach. It’s friendship first, we want to get to know each other and create that connection first. We did that prior to meeting (Quinn) so when we got to doing the shoot it felt so natural, so building the brand around that.
Q: Do you want to give a run through on the process on the clothing sides and how people can get started?
J: The real low risk is locally - you have your Gildan blanks, AS Colour is almost in every suburb. It’s really easy to get a blank t-shirt that you can then take to your local mall and just get it screen printed or embroidered, that's where you can start or get your foot in the door. When you want to start doing cut and sew we took the leap of going through Alibaba. It can be tough with the language barrier, you just have to be patient and diligent and methodical when you're trying to explain what you want. We use tech packs, it's a good way to break down language barriers with visuals.
P: You're just having to sift through a lot of different vendors, to look for whether they’re verified how long they've been in the game, reviews and if people in NZ have purchased from them. Those are the key things to look for. That's just one way, some people might want to skip the blank phase and go straight into cut and dew. it really depends on what your vision is. Our one just happened to be through this journey. For us, our visions changed from when we first started, we didn't envision it initially to what it is now.
J: It also depends on capital, how much money you have and how much you are willing to sacrifice. There’s no guarantee you’ll make the money back, that's the realer side of things. They have different MOQs (minimum order quantity) so you can have 50 up to 100, that’s where you should start, where you don't have too many units or money sitting in your garage or bedroom.
P: The conversation to have with yourself before you do that is to really know your brand, what you offer, know your market and know how you want to serve your audience and that will determine what path you take depending on who your market is and who your brand is for.
J: Getting a mentor on board early is huge, they are able to map out your journey ahead of you, where you're at, a mentor has been key for us. It’s really cool when you get that chance, we wouldn't be here if we didn’t take those risks or start this brand and potentially couldn’t have met so many. This has opened up so many doors and the doors are endless with what we’re doing. The learnings you get along the way, I wouldn't change it for the world.
P: That’s with any venture or endeavour you want to take regardless of whether its a brand or business idea, anything daunting you want to do, think about all the things that can come out of it. Being a creative person, my mind is not really wrapped around the numbers, the business savvy numbers stuff doesn’t really speak to me. So having to wrap my head around it has been a challenge moving into that space. Having to be mindful of having a sustainable business, not just doing stuff for fun which you can balance, I’m sure.
Q: What is something you’re doing to be better each day?
J: I think it's taking accountability, we’re really good at keeping each other accountable - maybe too much. Keeping each other on the right path, that's what makes us better each day. It's not stuff that people see behind the scenes, that's where the biggest change happens. It’s stuff that you can’t post.
Like the iceberg diagram, people see fame, success, where you’re at but they don't see everything at the bottom; countless amounts of hours, time and money. We’re definitely not alone in that sense. That's the stuff you appreciate more - that's where the gems are, the work that you do behind the scenes. If you're able to show what you're doing behind the brand , show the part of the iceberg that no one sees, that's where people will really appreciate your hard work.
The universe definitely gives you back that ROI (return on investment). Sometimes you just don’t know when that ROI is. You just have to hold out and keep faith it’s coming, but those little 1 percenters add up though.