1. What is the start-up story behind OFFEND?
I am a full time touring musician, been traveling the world for the last 10 years with my band Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! And i’ve always been the one in charge of merch online and on tour, from the concepts/design ideas to the printing process.
I managed to put some money on the side tour after tour over the years and after finishing a very successful tour in the US (Vans Warped Tour) where we sold a crazy amount of merch, i went to Hawaii on vacation and that’s where it all started.
I’ve always wanted to start a clothing company but seeing the amount of merch we sold with these concepts I came up with made me want to start something more personal, matching my passion for both streetwear and tattoo, that’s how it all started.
2. Offend, What are three words that best define it?
I would say: Passion, fun, love.
I do this by passion, I’m not here for the money but for the fun and i love seeing my ideas brought to life and being worn by people on the other side of the planet, it’s the best feeling ever.
3. What are you working on lately?
I am currently working on a mini winter drop (being printed as we speak) that should be available mid-December with T-shirts/long sleeves, jackets, beanies, gloves, bags …
4. What are some recent achievements you guys would like to share?
We’re working on some sort of partnership with another company but unfortunately it’s still at an early stage for the moment and we cannot share anything until it’s confirmed so stay tuned!
5. What’s something that’s always running on your minds?
Design ideas, it’s something i always have on my mind.
Wherever i go, there’s always inspiration all around, sometimes even the smallest detail can give life to something very cool.
6. How do you spend your downtime?
I try to stay busy doing “fun” stuff in between tours so I don’t get too bored. When I’m not working on the brand I either create music, fuck around on photoshop, take photos, travel or watch TV Shows for 10 hours straight when i’m lazy, I’m a huge TV show guy.
7. What would you guys spend a million dollars on?
Would definitely buy a house in Hawaii in front of the Ocean, build a hangar in the backyard, buy equipment, start a printing company to be able to do everything in-house and hire my friends to work with me.
8. What three pieces of advice would you all give to others when it comes to life and business?
Usually success comes with time, so do not be too impatient and keep working hard despite the obstacles, as long as you work hard it will pay off at some point.
Making sure to pick the right people to work with is very important too because in the end your business depends on it… Take some time to speak with different printing companies/Factories to make sure you’re both sharing the same vision.
Everything has a cost, of course reducing the costs is very important for your business but quality is the most important factor in the end, so don’t be scared to spend a couple more $$$ on your products to ensure the quality is there and customer’s happy.
9. What’s one thing you struggle most when building your own brand?
The hardest part is getting your name out, there’s so many clothing companies out there that it takes a lot of work to make a difference and to catch people’s attention, you gotta bring something fresh.
Finding new markets and target a certain type of customer requires time and isn’t easy, you gotta make those connections that will help you grow your business but luckily social networks are a great way to make those connections.
10. What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Failure is a normal thing when you learn something new, we all went there, that’s how you learn from your mistakes to always do better. I never really experienced BIG failures with the brand or with life in general (touching wood), but i did release some designs that didn’t do as good as others and which ended up taking a lot more time to sell.
Sometimes a product doesn’t turn out looking like you expected or sometimes your ideas are just too personal and you can’t expect everyone to relate to it…
11. What’s a typical day in your life like?
I wake up, check emails/social networks, get orders ready, leave myself a few hours to work on other things, check orders again in the afternoon, go to the post office, work out and spend some time with my girl… That’s pretty much it on standard days, nothing crazy ahah
12. What’s one of the highlighting moment in your career? Why is it so?
I was lucky enough to bring the company out with me on the 2016 edition of the Vans Warped Tour, this was something very special for me.
Warped Tour is a major music festival in the US rock culture that brings thousands of kids together all around the United States for two months straight every summer.
I’ve done Warped a couple times now but that was the first time i was able to bring Offend with me and it helped me develop the company and get more attention in the USA.
Now that i’ve heard the news that 2018 will be the last edition ever, i’m even more proud i got to be part of it.
13. What stops you from throwing in the towel and giving up during those frustrating days of being in this industry?
I just think of all these people wearing my stuff around the world and it gives me hope and strength to keep going.
Sometimes when i’m tired i’m like, man that’s too much work for such a small income… But then i think of all the support i received over the years and it reminds me that i’m not here for the money but for the fun and that as long as i have fun doing it, i’ll keep going!
14. Biggest risk ever taken?
To be honest i never took big risks with the company outside of starting it (which I don’t really consider a risk) and spending a couple thousands on a collection with some hard earned money…
Two years ago i got offered to sponsor a stage for big UK music festival, that was very tempting but there was a large amount of money on the table and i decided not taking the risk because i didn’t know if i would see some of this money back someday.
Would have definitely helped the company a lot on a promotional level in the UK but i’m not sure Offend was big enough at the time to make it worth it, you know? But hey maybe if I have the same opportunity in the near future, I’ll take it!
13. Who has influenced you most and been your greatest inspiration?
I really admire the work of Steen Jones, owner of Few And Far Collective, an Australian clothing company inspired by the tattoo culture.
I’m also a big fan of companies like Only NY, The Hundreds, Obey, Sketchy Tank, Good Worth & Co,…
I get inspiration from everywhere and always keep an eye on the most fashionable brands to see what’s new, what’s trending, what people like …
14. How do you go about marketing your business or yourself?
What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Being in band helps a lot, especially when your band is successful and you’ve got the chance to tour all around the world for most of the year. I’v been wearing Offend on stage, on interviews, on magazines and i made a lot of friends in other bands through the years that started wearing my products too.
All of this helped a lot to get the name out and to build an image for the brand.
I’m not a business man but as a musician I’m here to share my music with people and have a good time so why not “using” this opportunity to develop something else, you know? That’s what i did and it worked pretty well.
15. How do you plan to grow your brand/business further?
Socials Medias are a major influence for people and are very important nowadays, it’s the best way to develop your business and catch people’s attention, especially in the clothing industry so i will definitely keep working on that more and more.
With time i get more and more critical with my work, learn for my mistakes and always try to push myself to do better than what i previously did so maybe the next step would be to buy some equipment to do everything in-house.
I would be able to do a lot more, final products would be just the way imagined them, it would allow me to release products more often and of course would reduce the costs which means i’ll be able to offer quality products at a very affordable price for the customers.
16. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
I’ve got a lot of respect for The Hundreds, the way the handle their business, they’re being very successful while remaining true to their roots.
It’s a great company that does great products, they do some sick collabs and run very interesting blogs about street culture.
17. How do you achieve balance in your life?
Well, everyone’s got their own definition of balance but I think that mix of music, art, sport and love in my life gives me good balance.
18. What is the definition of success for you all, and how much of it do you think you guys have achieved?
Success means something different to everyone I guess but to me success is when you can live off something you love, if you run your business with passion and that it allows you to pay the bills then it’s success.
With my band i think i can say we achieved some sort of success, i’m not there yet with the brand but just the fact that hundreds of people are wearing my stuff around the world is something i can consider as “success”.
19. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
Everything could happen in such a large amount of time, so who knows?
I hope we keep growing, leading the company to the next level while we keep sharing our vision and passion with people.
20. What’s the first thing you guys would say to the world if all attention was on you now?
As Dj Khaled would say: “We the best clothing”