So here I am, sliding shirts from left to right on a rack in a clothing store in Rice Village. *Slide, check out artwork, shake my head in disagreement, repeat.*

I went to that store with a couple hundred dollars in my pocket with the full intention of spending it all on graphic tees, but I was disappointed with what I saw.

I bought 4 shirts total, but I left dissatisfied. I was there for shirts with Houston references on them, but so many of the shirts had drug references on them, and I’m not wearing that crap. Right there in that store, I had the spark of an idea that would soon become a passion project.

I said to myself, “Self. You know how to design shirts, you know how to market things online and create buzz on social media, and you know how to build the e-commerce site to do it. Why not make your own Houston shirts without all the drug crap?”

So I did. And I’m not getting rich off of it, but that’s not the point.

I had an idea, and it was a pretty big one. While I didn’t jump on the idea right away, I didn’t let myself talk myself out of it either. I just started making lists and sketching here and there. I ended up with 200+ shirt ideas in my sketch book, and a few friends that were interested in the idea began providing some inspiration as well.

Fast forward to April 12, 2016. A dozen of those 200 ideas made the final cut, I got some samples, picked my shirts, got them on the site, and I started working on digital strategy.

In those first 30 days a few awesome things happened. My good friend Chris Adams was honored for his service at an Astros game, and he wore one of my shirts on the field. We turned a profit for the startup costs. And we were hit with a cease and desist from Bun B’s lawyer. Ouch.

It was just for one tee (and we’re still trying to work out some sort of deal), so I took it down and kept moving, but I focused on the silver lining. It’s been 30 days since this went from a big dream to a big reality, and Bun B already somehow saw our shirt, and more importantly he believed it was going to sell well enough that he had to put a stop to it.

Here’s why all this is important. If you dream big, you achieve big. Even if you have to strip some of your lofty goals down a little bit or compromise a few things to make it happen, if you’re not dreaming big, you’ll never be able to achieve big things. My clothing line isn’t making me rich, but it is giving me a fun, creative outlet, and it also allows me a way to show potential clients what I’m capable of with just a few hours a week. (Case study to come!)

Even if you don’t achieve as big of a goal as you set for yourself, those big dreams will push your creativity, and that’s where the real value lies.

Find something you’re passionate about, play with it for a few hours a week, and eventually an idea will come to you on how you can sell your passion. Draw up a plan, set some deadlines, and do it. The point here isn’t to get rich, but to dream big, and watch yourself turn those big dreams into a reality. That’s a huge confidence builder, something I know many of us in this creative industry could use help with!

Those who know me well know I’ve always loved hip hop music. So much so, I used to write raps when I was in high school, but ironically I didn’t have any big dreams; it was just a creative outlet for me. However, one thing I wrote about often was dreaming big.

I gotta dream big, ‘cause dreaming small…/ It’s more like a nightmare, it aint a dream at all./ But as a kid, lil dreams seemed big dreams:/ No more knobs on the TVs, big screens./

Maybe it’s because I was kind of poor, or maybe it’s because my mom was a serial hustler, but I’ve always had huge, lofty dreams. It’ll never hurt to dream big, and it’ll always result in bigger, bolder creativity, even if you can’t execute fully on the dream. 1836 Clothing Company is just one example.

I plan on writing another piece to this blog listing out all the big dreams I’ve had, and what they’ve gotten me, but while I build that list, we have to cover some other stuff.

Next time we’ll talk a little bit about why getting an education for this is so helpful.

Anthony Gorrity
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