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Gerald - Marquinn always said when things got tight, to own it; have ownership over the process. To be honest, most people don’t even know what that entails. Some people probably think for example if they own the store, they own the day to day process. Nope. We came to our own conclusion, ownership is when you decide to be hands on. When you come up with an idea, creating the budget, to laying out the release strategy, etc. YOU NEED TO DO THAT PART. Own it and then ask your partner to input resources, $, time, and effort.
Squabbles within leadership are the devils tactics to interrupt divine order, period. Everybody has a role to play. The devil's biggest tactic is reminding you who started the process. That does not matter when the goal is to satisfy our customers and motivate our supporters.
Tables always turn, life will humble you. When things are 50/50 its easy to make the mistake I did and harp on being the one to come up with a name, its the throne mentality. We all get bit by that bug sometimes. We all have fallen victim to forgetting who inspired us and who was there from the start; that's our flesh and ego persisting. We all want recognition we all want to be known as the one who “thought of it” but it means nothing. It is fruitless without your partner who holds you accountable. Tables have turned for my partner and I. In the start I was working at Redbox and I trusted Q to do whatever with anything I took out my lil' baby work check to create the clothing that HE HAD ENVISIONED. See I didn’t envision the clothing, I just had a slight idea, a clue, he had the true @DIVINEEYE_ for the clothing. Our first batch, etc. that's all Q, he brought the meaning out of the name 'defeat the day.' Now on our 2 year mark, me as an over-extended 26 year-old struggling to make ends meet, I rely heavily on Q to keep us from disappearing. We have a true yin & yang relationship. He now uses his capital to keep our ends meeting as a company. It forced me to think out the box to get our legal expenses, etc paid. So we decided we needed to move gear; something small and easy but valuable to the company. That led to the “Stamped” sock. It felt good to not create an excuse as to why we couldn’t make ends meet. Instead we used our product to make ends meet and to pay bills. I told Q, lets refrain from the easy action of using our own money, lets use the revenue we earned from product. That was a powerful move for us. It felt good to reinvest the revenue that people gave us from supporting our product. The yin & yang is still there, sometimes we are each others' crutches to an extent and we don’t allow the noise of our flesh to shake our ground. Defeat Yours...
Marquinn - As a co-founder of Defeat The Day, I always got obsessed with the vision and engineering of our future. Whether it be product, workshops, community events or just providing our peers and family alike a reason to be inspired.
You add that to the fact that I’ve always wanted to take a relatively humble approach to everything done to improve ourselves and the business, I think that is what Gerald refers to as the yin & yang relationship that we have. I’m more reserved, while he’s more open. I’m more calculated, while he’s more action-oriented. As we come up on two years I think we’ve become more fluid and flexible. Sometimes I can be more vocal while he’s more calculated and honestly watching us evolve into opposite traits was weird and uncomfortable at first but we’ve learned a ton from it.
Marquinn - When we were in year one I think we had disagreements because of the clashing of egos and visions but since then we’ve both been humbled by God in a major way. Really in a way that keeps us open to ideas and examining different perspectives without being offended or feeling less than.
Year 2: 2017 was phase two and it was one for the books (even though it isn’t finished.) I remember G moved to LA February 25th. That Saturday evening, he came crashing at my crib straight from Spain after hooping overseas. I knew he said he was coming but honestly it kinda snuck up on me. Lol From that day forward over the next 2 months, we stuck it out at my crib until he got settled all together in LA.
Marquinn - This was the second time we practically lived together as brothers (first in 2010 @ Howard U, as freshmen) and it was a lot different, yet similar in some ways.
After that Laker game the second day he was in LA, we dubbed Feb 26th as “Founder’s Day” and pretty much hit the ground running as far as developing the business.
Hours were spent coming up with new concepts and then we would go out and execute. We would self teach Photoshop, Lightroom, & other software to ourselves. Saturday’s were for working out and getting new product made, going to the drawing board. I remember one Saturday we went to one of our manufacturers and we were at the point where we needed something new. We were growing tired of the basic items that kept us a float for so long. We didn’t necessarily want to abandon them completely because that became our bread and butter but it was time to expand.
G made a quick run to the bank. I was at the vendor runnin' plays for new product. After plotting out a new design, I was about to head out and go meet G at the bank around the corner. As I walk out, this brother approached me asking, “They ripping you off in here?” I replied jokingly “Mannnn yeah they be acting a lil iffy’ sometimes.” The place we would get things made was cool but they seemed to lack a sense of urgency on our products. I also didn’t really have any other place to manufacture things yet so I had no real reference as to what was a good or reasonable price for things.
The guy proceeded to tell me about wholesale products he had for sale and he brought up socks. I thought to myself, “SOCKS!” Simple yet fashionable. Often overlooked, yet affordable. So we exchanged info and he told me how he could help us manufacture a sock design.
After learning some basic things in Illustrator/Photoshop I sent him over some logo variances and the Stamped sock was born. All based on timing. Being in the right place at the right time, with an open mind. I’m grateful for experiences like that & we will continue to build upon the ideas that come about in the same form, just a better approach. I met G at the bank, told him about the encounter and the rest was history! Defeat Yours...
Thanks for reading
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Marquinn - Instagram