Aplomb is an apparel brand based in our Nation's Capital focused on supporting DC's diverse Music, Art, and Sports Sub-Cultures. Whether we are sponsoring local musicians, artists, or athletes, donating ramps to local skate spots, or hosting competitions and parties for the community we will always strive to improve our communities creative outlets and support the aspirations of local artists and athletes.
Our apparel is premium quality consisting of strictly original design and a tendency of subtle social/political undertones.
Our products are shipped all over the world and can be found in numerous brick and mortar stores within the United States.
We focus on creating high quality products driven by strong concepts and well executed designs, down to the very last detail.
Hello, how are you doing?
Doing alright, lil hungover but stoked to watch the cavs and magic again tonight
Can you give us brief background information about yourself, what’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from?
Sure, Ryan Ryskamp... 26 years old, born in Oakland Cali but grew up in Woodbridge, VA
When was Aplomb clothing born?
Aplomb was born in November of 06
Why the name Aplomb?
Aplomb is actually a real word... English majors seem to dig it but yeah it’s a real word with a real meaning. Means self-confidence, self-assurance. I don’t really hear the word much but I have heard it before... you can tell I got real far in the dictionary haha.
What makes your designs unique?
We try to make more than just a cool design when we are in our creative processes. Being from DC we are always aware of social and political issues, scandals, conspiracy theories so we tend gain inspiration from those things and we are really a by product of our area. As for the designs we use we try to incorporate a lot of different styles because my partner and I are from many different backgrounds. Hip-hop, Rock, snowboarding, skateboarding, streetwear... we are into a lot of styles and like to think that comes out in our designs...
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Kinda answered that above but snowboarding, skateboarding, streetwear, and social and political issues
How many hours do you work daily and what are your daily tasks for your sites?
Some days I won’t do a damn thing, and some days I work all day. Really depends on what lies ahead of me. Since the “recession” hit we definitely do less business but still work hard to stay on track but as times are tough for everyone, times are tough.
How did you raise money for your business?
It’s a combination of some decent poker playing and on-going 9-5’s.
Who are your competitors? (Customer profile)
Ummm we would fall into the streetwear, skate, snowboard clothing categories so I guess all those guys but DC is interesting where no one dominates the fashion market there. If we were to dominate one day we would be the first to bring other’s up with us because we think there is so much to go around. It’s not like L.A. or New York where everyone and their brother has a t-shirt company.
Who are your target markets?
We want to reach people Id say 13-35... even though on the young side we have some things in our designs and embellishments on our clothing that might be a little much for the young kids... some curse words here on there but for the most part we try to make it for everyone. I feel like a lot of people categorize your style on the music you wear but that’s why I like the “streetwear” arena because its all about the clothing and not so much about the associations.
What are your advertising strategies? (Do you use any social networking sites to promote your brand).
Yeah we are on Myspace, Facebook, www.aplombclothing.com, we try to push to get onto blogs and have been featured in magazines such as SLAM, Vapors, Antenna, The Center, some others I can’t seem to pin point right now.
What fabrics do you mostly deal with?
We deal with cotton for our T-Shirts... we have tried Poly Cotton but I think we have stuck with super soft cotton because of how it feels and how it takes the inks we use. We use water-based inks and discharge inks. We prefer discharge inks on dark colored garments. Other fabrics we deal with would be leathers for wallets, cotton or wool for hats... we want to get into synthetics for jackets and some wools for sweaters etc.
Describe your collection in ten words?
Our shit is ill and getting so real these days
Do you make your collection to season?
We tried that... don’t recommend that when you are starting out. Just do what works, sell your things with ample strategic marketing that coincides with release of products but at this point we are just trying to do the best that we can right now.
What was the most important lesson you have learnt so far?
Figure out how to make profit before you start dumping a ton of money in something... as soon as you make some dough you can make more... but its real hard to make a lot of money before you figure out how to make a little.
Who is your role model/influence?
Role models would be anyone who owns what they do. The reason I started this was to be my own boss because I thought I could do it better and decided I wanted follow my child hood ambition of a clothing company. Not sure if I made the right decision but I like my company and I like what I get to do, so I guess I did.
Who are your favourite young entrepreneurs at this moment?
Man I really don’t know anyone specifically but I will say this... it’s good to follow a good model of someone who has success but make your own path, that’s the beauty and have to say the best thing about being an entrepreneur. Figure out your own specific success because for 30K a year on your own might be it, or it might be 30 million, but be careful of trying to compare yourself to other business people because your situation is never going to be the same, they might have more funding, more connections, better luck, who knows... do you.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
I think still being around, I think it’s something like 15% of clothing companies DON’T FAIL, that’s crazy to think that I got into something that 85% of others are destined to not succeed... I try not to think about that stuff.
What are your advices for Aspiring young entrepreneurs looking to break in the Fashion industry or other industries?
Do your homework, work within your field if you have the luxury. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had an education that targeted fashion or if I worked within the industry for a while before I started this. Oh and be very careful who you partner with... I am lucky I have a great partner and business relationship. We totally complement each other which is what you want to look for. The only reason we get anything done is because the other is good or willing to do the things the other is not .
So what’s next for Aplomb clothing?
Next you will see some new hats from us and these new wallets. They are our rendition of the magic wallet. They are awesome, they are great quality leather and full embossment on the outsides, they are sick! And they are very affordable, only $25. These days I know people don’t have ton of money which is straight because this wallet is designed to save tons of space! Perfect for the “recession”.
So finally, before I leave you, I need to ask for your secret, come on, why have you been so successful, what’s your secret weapon?
Get a good partner... you are only as good as the people who work with you or for you. Be careful who you choose whether they are helping or a full blown partner. And the ultimate secret is that we never give up, we didn’t make this over night and I never would have thought it could be where it is now and I hope I get to say that 2 years from now and we are HUGE but one day at a time.
Thanks, Wish you the best in the future.