Age is just a number when it comes to innovators, and these young entrepreneurs are relishing the fight to the top.
Jarrod Beard, Justin Davis, Victor Flagg and Antione Jenkins, are looking to take the fashion industry over by storm. Beard, Davis and Flagg are the CEOs and co-founders of a street themed clothing brand based off their love for their Minnesota stomping grounds named 4TheCity. Jenkins is the founder of Antz Customs.
Their introduction into fashion design came from their desire to want to be the best dressed in school. From that point, Beard, Davis and Flagg went on to produce merchandise, received an official LLC and a retail license to sell. Now the trio works around the clock on designs, shipments, promotions while strategically planning for the future and their digital presence.
4TheCity aims to do more outside of making sleek clothes and earning a profit. Their mission is to bring the youth together and to also give back to the community that they adore.
“We’re trying to connect with not just only Minneapolis ...we’re trying to connect with every city in the United States and eventually globally,” Davis said. “We’re trying to give that feeling that if you have a 4TheCity shirt on, it can represent your state and your city as well.”
4TheCity has an upcoming line called Dear America, which will be incorporating meaningful messages and quotes from notable Black entrepreneurs and leaders.
Jenkins’ early love for fashion also helped propel him into becoming a business owner and founder of Antz Customs. Jenkins was heavily influenced by a culture centered around the “Jerk” dancing days. The skinny jeans and colorful clothes caught his eye and he fully embraced the look.
In addition to the look, Jenkins also was greatly influenced in his fashion – and more specifically shoes – by his basketball playing days.
“Basketball was the innovative start of people caring about the shoes on their feet,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins has gone on to start his own line of custom footwear. Within the couple years since establishing Antz Customs, Jenkins has found gradual success. When not working his full-time job, Jenkins spends most of the rest of his time cultivating his brand.
“I can FaceTime him at 3 a.m. and he’s probably up designing shoes as well as I am designing shirts,” Davis said. “It’s always nice having a motivated partner.”
Jenkins’ long-term goal to own an exclusive footwear brand, thus he travels the country to social events and festivals to build his network.
4TheCity and Antz Customs are two separate entities but it is hard to see them not together. They frequently collaborate on ideas and products.
“We always come together collectively and it always works,” Jenkins said. “If he (Davis) needs help with a design or is having a creative block, he’ll hit me up. We always stack and build on top of one another.”
Jenkins notes the collaborations originated from Davis reaching out to him via social media. During his freshman year of college, Jenkins began to gain traction with his shoe designs and Davis took note. That following summer Davis decided that joining forces with Jenkins would be a good idea.
“He (Davis) wanted me to be a part because he saw my designs and my creative process,” Jenkins said. “From there we just kept it pushing.”
During the multiple collaborations the young men have built everlasting bonds. Davis and Jenkins emphasize how brotherhood even transcends their business relationship.
“Obviously it’s more than a business, it’s a real friendship,” Davis said. “I can literally call him at anytime and that’s what helps our connection.”
You can check out both companies at the Antz Custom Facebook page and the 4TheCity official site at www.4thecity.co.