Welcome to the FLOURYSH 5 where you get to know and love black owned brands right here on our platform. And I couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to one of the superstars of FLOURYSH, Charlie, founder of the inspiring clothing brand Apt C3.
There's so much buzz around you and your products right now. So I want to dive into the story because there's a message behind your products and your clothes. So, tell us, where did the inspiration to start your line come from?
Well it originated when I was going to therapy. I started therapy in 2017. I didn't really know the best way to go about it, but something happened where I had a breakdown and felt a lack of self-worth. And so, my friend gave me an ultimatum of going to therapy. So I went and as the year went by, I was progressing. You know change doesn't happen overnight.
So eventually I came up with a slogan like “Bitch, I’m in therapy, give me a minute”. Basically, it means to give me grace and then my friend was like, “you should put that on a t-shirt”. I sat on this idea for, you know, about three years and then Covid happened. And I said, let's put it on a t-shirt. Then I said, you know what? Let's expand it. Let's put it on sweats. Let's put it on attire. People want to feel good and need a reason to feel good. So, this is how APT C3 was born.
It is a direct message telling people to chill out. I'm working on me. And so the response has been really wild. What do you make of this? Of people really connecting to this message?
I honestly didn't expect people to resonate so well with it, but I'm so grateful because I originally made this for me. But it shows that people connect to it and are also going through things that you would never really know of if you didn't ask or if they didn't become vulnerable and decide to open up to you. So, I mean, it just makes me feel good that there's a community out there. It also opens the doors for other people as well, who feel trapped or feel like they can't admit to needing therapy. We’re breaking down stigmas. We’re breaking down walls.
I'm a second generation Nigerian American and, growing up as a child, every time I told my parents I was depressed or needed some type of help they kind of shunned me. Because Nigerians, at the time, that generation at least, didn’t believe in therapy, the stigma, and that can also be attributed to American culture. That if you're in therapy, you're a psycho, and that's not the case. If you go to the gym and you go to the doctor, why would you not go to see a psychologist?
Yes, so your gear has made it onto the big screen. We just told you, Don C has it in Chicago. Where else are you seeing it pop up and just kind of expose your brand to more people?
The Chi, season five of The Chi episode one, I didn't even expect episode one. I don't know how many brands they decided to collaborate with but episode one, season five of The Chi. Lena Waithe had to personally approve these looks so I am so grateful that I saw it and said, “yes, put that on there”. So that's one place.
We love it! And I want to end on this cause it's not like these hoodies and shirts are just a message. The design of your line is beautiful and artistic and creative. So where are you getting the design look from? Who's helping you in that effort?
So, I hired a designer. Her name is Brooke Armstrong, aka @strong_design_co. She is phenomenal. I love her so much. She completely understands mental health. And she also suffers with her own issues with mental health so we just really connected.
I love the idea of growth because that's what I'm talking about. Give me grace. I'm growing, but give me, give me a minute. It takes a minute. And so that's what the flowers come from. You know, one flower is colorful, I'm growing, but the other flower, like I have moments where I need a minute. I need grace. So, she came up with that concept and I approved it and it just worked. I told her what I wanted, and this is what she did. It was just phenomenal.
Dynamic duo. Listen, we are so blessed and proud to have you on board. We just love what you're all about and want to officially welcome you to FLOURYSH, Charlie, and congratulate on all of your success.