Today we’d like to introduce you to Shaq Richard.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Shaq. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It all started in 2015. I was home from Portland, which was where I lived at the time, attending Portland State University from 2011-2015 on a football scholarship. After graduating in July 2015, I was not 100% sure of what I wanted to do, so I got a place with some people I knew there to figure things out. My entire life up to this point, had been dedicated to football. So intensely to where there was a time where I thought it was all I had to offer the world. I can remember one game in particular, my mom flew out to see me play and for some reason, my coach did not put me in the game enough at all. My dreams of playing pro were literally in the hands of some guy who was being paid to do a job he had no business doing. Unfortunately for me, if you don’t play, you don’t get film. No film typically means you are less likely to gain any attention from NFL scouts. Knowing this, after the game, I remember crying to my mom asking her ‘Why is this man taking my dream from me?’ From that next day on, I knew I had to create something for myself that I hold full control of. Something that lives or dies based on my own work ethic and not because some person in higher authority holds me back. I vowed to never let another individual hold the keys to my success in whatever it is that I want to do.
Fast forward to September, where I traditionally come home to celebrate my mom’s birthday. This time felt slightly different. It felt like I was there for more than just a celebration. After being there for about a week, I started to look into starting my own brand. It had been something I never really gave any thought to prior but felt as if it was definitely something I was interested in enough to have my own. Fashion had always been something I had been intrigued by. I would spend tons of time and money on clothes to the point where it became an addiction. I was obsessed with the idea of coordination, design/detail and expression through clothes.
I figured that with the amount I was investing in every other mainstream brand if I invest the same into my own, I am sure it could be great. This is what lead me to dive all in with that idea. I was willing to take a risk on a calling I had no idea lived within. A calling I did not go to school for, have any knowledge of or any set plan on how I was going to execute.
My first few designs were somewhat catchy, gaining the attention of friends and some influencers. Nothing to get too worked up over. On the contrary, in the beginning stages there would always be some sort of signs letting me know that I am on the right track.
Putting all my trust in God to guide me through, over time, I have come to the realization that design and fashion is my calling. There have been so many times where customers tell me how they connect with things that I have created or let me know how inspired they were to starting something for themselves because of what they see me accomplish. It is the greatest feeling in the world knowing you are positively impacting the lives around you by just doing you.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This industry, just as any other, has it’s ups and it’s downs. There are times when everything has gone all right and times where it’s the complete opposite! I’ve experienced every emotion with the brand along this journey. Some struggles we’ve faced include everything from financial, to not being able to sell product we’ve had too much inventory of, to production issues pushing back our scheduled timelines.
These struggles are what will make our success story even more beautiful. What keeps me going is the fact that I know it will all pay off in the long run. I can feel how close we are to being where we envision the company to be. It’s all just a matter of time.
Royal.2 – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
ROYAL.2 is a modern streetwear company with an innate focus on expression through art and detail. My job title includes many hats. I am Founder, CEO and head of Design & Production. I am known for my versatile sense of style and my usage of cool graphics, details and color in my designs.
What sets ROYAL.2 apart from others is our connectivity with the consumers and the messages we promote.
By capturing life experiences through intriguing perspectives and playful concepts, the goal of our brand is to unite the world through clothes & redefine what’s “cool” or “accepted.” We want to create opportunities to express who you are or what you feel by the garments you wear. Whether it be the choice in color of a garment or the message the art portrays, chances are, there is someone else out there who feels the exact same way and identify with the exact same things as you. This may spark a conversation based solely on the shared connection. From there, sky’s the limit. We aim to inspire individuals to follow their wildest dreams. To not be bound by the worlds expectations of us.
222 is a number often associated with my brand. These specific numbers combined create the Angel number 222 which means: You are in the right place, keep doing what you’re doing and to trust in the things you want. This is a message we support behind everything we do at ROYAL.2. Broken down in another context, the number 222 is also inspired by my career in football. At the age of four, I began playing wearing the number 22 & my final years, number 2. By combining those numbers comes 222. It is a representation of the focus I dedicated my life to then and the direction in which my life has been dedicated to since.
Every time you see something of ours, we want the feeling to be positive, visually appealing and inspiring.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment, hands down would be the event we had most recently. It was our first ever pop up shop experience and it was a night I will never forget. We had a ton of support from both people we knew, and from those who had been following the brand over the years. What we wanted to accomplish with this experience was to generate a community and culture around the company by showcasing who we are and what we represent. The entire night was like a dream. Only place to go from here is up.
- Tees/Long sleeves range from $50-$65
- Hoodies/Outerwear range from about $100-180
- Website: royalvseverybody.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @royalvseverybody
Justin Childress, Daniel Walker