Check out DC Native April Nicole, Artist & Owner of Firm Believer Clothing

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Q:In just a few words, tell us about your brand, your vision and mission.

A: Firm Believer is a movement in which a positive lifestyle is translated through clothing. My mission and vision is to motivate people to stand firm and believe in everything they do to become better.

Q:Describe the niche in the designs of your clothing line, Firm Believer.

A: My distinct distressed bear logo is one that is universal. It speaks to men..some..children..elderly while it has a dope flare for everyone from your skateboarders to your business owner.

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Q:What’s the story behind the brand, Firm Believer, and the challenges that you’ve had to face to follow through

A: FIRM BELIEVER’s name and logo mean THROUGH ALL ADVERSITY WE MUST STAND FIRM IN OUR BELIEFS OR BE LEFT TO QUESTION OUR PURPOSE. Its sentimental value stems from me starting the line a couple years ago when I lost my job for something I was clueless about. I turned to this one particular sketch in hopes of creating an avenue to stay afloat. Tshirts came as a no brainer simply because people need them. Well it turned out that not only did my first dozen shirts sale out in 2 hours before I got to take them home, but the demand for more was shocking! It motivated me enough to turn it into a business and with Gods blessings I got my job back and the shirts have been moving well ever since.. Hence the meaning behind the name smile emoticon I have yet to see another brand quite like mine within the DMV area. I’m also able to share my artistic abilities with the hand painted tees. Each one is its own masterpiece as they are all different in some way as is original art!

Q:What are the materials that you use?

A: In the beginning I used silk screen. Now I have grown accustomed to the hand painted tees in which the same acrylic I use on canvas to paint artwork is used on the T-shirts. The challenge of not becoming just another DC urban wear line was met with me not being able to afford multicolor shirts with the screen print process so I took it to the next level and cut the middle man by creating and painted different designs by hand which now allows me to do custom tees. I have the artistic freedom to add as much color as I want for free.

Q:How have you grown as a creative entrepreneur?

A: I have grown as a person once I realized I could be my own boss. Being an entrepreneur takes drive..effort.. It takes time and understanding that you are selling yourself to the world. My spiritual growth allowed me to overcome such things as worrying if people will like the brand..or better yet if people will purchase an article of clothing from me.

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I honestly feel that in what you put in to your craft that shines beyond the craft itself. I have the understanding that becoming a business owner takes patience and a lot of attention. I also understand that my business may take years or even months to thrive so in the meantime I don’t worry about profit..I focus on the bigger picture. Its not about making money, it’s about making a statement and that statement will never lose value. It’ll take you much farther than money ever could.

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