I sat down with Rodrigo Leon, owner of local clothing brand Elephant Ink, like…a couple months ago. But since he’s opening what is probably the first pop-up shop in the area at Big John’s Plaza in Downtown Cape this weekend, I figured it was a good time to quit slacking and put a quick interview piece together. Stop by this weekend and support local creatives! Facebook event over here.
What drew you to the idea of starting a clothing company?
Since I was young I always knew that I wanted to start some sort of company. Growing up, I was always looking into indie brands and I would only rep those.
How did you go about learning the necessary skills?
Personally, I think the only skill necessary is (I know, super cheesy) loving what you do. If you love what you do, you will always find a way to figure out how to overcome any obstacles.
What is a pop-up shop, and why did you choose it as a vehicle for your brand?
A pop up shop is essentially a temporary store. You find a space to set up, give a sampling of your product and then you pack it up. I’ve done shows, sneakers shows, and I don’t think any of those really bring the Elephant ink brand to it. I chose to do a PUP because not only can you see the brand but you can experience it.
You’ve got an indie band and a hip-hop MC performing over the weekend at your event; how does music play into Elephant Ink?
Music is a big part of it. Being part of the Pay Up Game collective has opened my eyes to how important music really is to my brand. Elephant ink isn’t street wear, and it isn’t indie, but we are able to provide quality. We’re fortunate enough to showcase this with everything we have, even music, and get everyone hyped about our brand.
What vision do you have for the brand a year or two from now?
Wholesaling is a big next step for Ei, expanding and introducing our product into new areas. Over the next couple years we’ll be showcasing at different events, and really getting our name out there. Our main goal is to get a good following of people ready for the first Elephant ink shop.
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