Today we’d like to introduce you to Ian Piyadasa.
Ian, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It all honestly started at a very young age. As a kid who moved around a lot, from being born and raised in Oakland, California, moving around the Bay Area frequently to later moving to the Philippines in the 5th Grade, then moving to a small, diverse city, Gaithersburg, Maryland. I realized I was not only exposed to so many different cultures, but so many different styles of fashion were introduced to me as such a young age. At the time, I always saw moving around a lot as a negative point in my life and there are so many different reasons as to why I felt that way, but the most impactful one was the fact that I moved to a new place and always told myself to never get too comfortable because I was so used to moving within months. Looking back today, I am truly grateful for every move honestly, as cliche as it sounds, I would not be where I am today without every single move. My love for Fashion grew once I realized I had no passion for anything else and I came to that realization when my family and I moved to Maryland.
At the time, I was still very young to know what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be, but as High School was coming to an end, I made a vow to myself that I would graduate and be successful without College, I didn’t know how or what would lead me to that success but I knew I would do whatever it took to get there. Growing up in a Filipino family, we face the pressure of going to College to be a nurse or going to College to be as successful as our cousins before us and honestly, I made that promise to myself to not go to College to show that I could be successful without the degree that they acquired. With that being said, before my High School Graduation in 2016, I created a small Clothing Brand using CustomInk, I played around with the art that they already had on their website, put a little design together, purchased about 10 Shirts and sold them to people I knew. That Clothing Brand was later put to rest due to the inconsistency and lack of direction. As time went on, I was able to get a full-time job in a hospital putting my Fashion dreams on pause. I worked at the hospital for almost three years, waking up every morning knowing that this is not what I wanted to do in life but also not knowing what I wanted was always scary to me. On June 29th, 2018 I finally gained the confidence to go to a local printing shop with a design I created within 30 minutes that day, printed about 100 shirts thinking 100 Shirts would not be enough. I announced on my personal Instagram that these shirts were available for purchase.
I remember this day so vividly, refreshing my DMs and my Likes/Comments section checking to see if anyone was interested. I sold about 10-20 out of 100 of the shirts to my friends and to people that just believed in something so small at the time. Yet, that didn’t stop me from, if anything, that day changed my life, I was motivated at the fact that I was not able to sell all of the shirts, it pushed me to be better and do better, it pushed me to grow this brand to not only prove people wrong but to prove myself right. This was the beginning of “The Üth Club”. I came up with the name by putting a twist to the word “Youth” with an aim to show that no matter how old or young you are, you will always have that youth in your heart and that no one should feel left out. With this newfound determination and motivation, I knew that it was possible to grow this brand alone, but I knew it would not be easy and the chances of doing it alone were very slim. I began doing research later finding out that creating a team and working together was the right thing to do in order to grow as a brand. There was only one other person I knew in this area who was as passionate as I was for Fashion, his name is Lawrence Kouadio.
I asked Lawrence to join me in taking this brand to the next level, expressing how confident I was in taking this brand to the top. Lawrence moved to San Francisco, CA after high school but agreed to join my team and was one of the few the people that believed and supported me when I first launched the shirts. Lawrence and I came up with a design that was inspired by “Fight Club”, utilizing the Soap Bar and adding our “Üth Club” on top of the soap bar. The design was created by my co-worker at the time, Olson Richardson. I managed to get the design printed onto the hoodies, flew to Los Angeles and met up with Lawrence where we shot our first ever promo video later launching these pieces a few days after the shoot. This is when we realized we were onto something great. We later added two more people to the team, Adrian Torres-Vista and AJ Cabotaje. Fast forward to present day, we were able to have Grammy Nominated Rapper “Cordae” wear our “Fountain Of Üth” Hoodie in his “Gifted” music video Featuring Roddy Ricch. We were also able to have 2020 NBA Champion Troy Daniels model in our Brown Essentials “With Love” Hoodie, showing off his NBA Championship Ring. With more and more eyes on the brand, this is still just the beginning, our future is still very bright and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road and honestly, I am fine with that. God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. Life is truly Trial and error, if you don’t fail trying to do something you love, how will you know you really want it? Consistency was always a big struggle of ours, but it never served as a major setback for us. Other than that, there were minor struggles to make the road bumpy, but it was never anything we couldn’t overcome as a team.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Üth Club story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a Clothing Brand with an aim to bridge the generational gap. We’re known for our unique designs, our Earthtones and our involvement in society today, which is what I am most proud of as a company. What sets us apart from the rest is the fact that our aim is for everyone, no matter what your skin color is, how old you are, no matter what it is, we are a brand for everyone and anyone which is why our mantra is “With Love”. The world right now lacks love in so many different aspects and we just hope that as a brand, we can spread that love around the world.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In the next 5-10 years, honestly, shoot for the moon and even if we miss, we will land among the stars. I don’t want to say much but just know we will continue to grow this brand and we will continue to prove ourselves right.
- Website: theuthclub.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theuthclub/
Mike C., Sugar Gonzales, Tati Mendoza, Troy Daniels, Cordae