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Conversations with Derrick Banks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Derrick Banks.

Hi Derrick, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I grew up in a poverty-based environment and a single-parent home. I would always want the nicest shoes that were hot topics at the time (e.g., Air Jordan collection, Nikes, Reeboks, Timberland boots, etc.) but my mom couldn’t afford them. Once I turned 18 and got my first job, I began to spoil myself with all the shoes that I couldn’t afford as a kid and vowed to always reward myself for my hard labor. After years of the fancy shoe obsession, I eventually ran into a little problem, I would never have anything to match the shoes I bought. Finally, during a world pandemic I decided to start a clothing brand (Paper Treez) in which I could just make clothing items to match the hottest shoe releases and give the world a chance to see my ideas. I was even lead to quit my job during the world pandemic and have been able to build a company that is thriving around Los Angeles at a stunning pace. In addition to this, I am currently in school to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner as I have worked in mental health for three years and love the field.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Surprisingly, the road has been a very smooth one as there are multiple resources available to anyone looking to start a business. YouTube has been a huge help for me as I watched many videos on how to start my business, how to protect my business, and how to market my business. I also reached out to family members and people in my ministry as I needed to know, “what did the people want?”

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My business is currently an online clothing store called Paper Treez. I create unisex clothing in which I try and give my audience hot items to match the latest and hottest sneaker drops. My most popular item would have to be the Creamcone Crewneck which has been sold all around Los Angeles and has even reached Japan. I have a variety of colors and have so much more to come as I constantly receive new ideas and worldly inspirations for colors. I am most proud of staying consistent and not giving up. I had a pretty slow start when I started selling shirts with just my logo on them, but I did not let it deter me. Soon after, I partnered up with my current graphic designer and we have been in the lab cooking up some fire. I am different from most of the LA clothing companies that are starting because I am not looking for a get rich quick clothing brand. I am looking to be here for the long run and make classic items that can be here long after I am gone.

What makes you happy?
Happiness for me everyday is to see my family (wife and four daughters) enjoy a life that is filled with so many beautiful moments. Learning and gaining knowledge on how to better myself and become a better me today!


  • The Creamcone Crewnecks $60 a piece

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram: Paper.treez

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