Meet Tom Giacinto, the twenty-something Orange County, Calif. born founder of Living People Apparel! He dream has always been to develop his own brand of hip clothing that makes a difference in the world around him. He proves that you don’t have to start a company with a million dollars or wait until you have 100 years of business experience. All it takes is passion, innovation, careful study of the market and the right connections. Tom is making it happen!
The following is an interview with Tom. May you be inspired by his passion and willingness to take a risk!
I grew up in Southern California and was always interested in the beach and action sports. I actually played semi-professional paintball for about 3 years.
When did you know you had an interest in fashion design?
I wouldnt say that I am a fashion designer, I like to make cool clothing for people that support the same causes that I support. I’ve wanted to do this for 4-5 years now.
What inspired you to create your own collection?
Well…I recognized that people, young people especially, are not aware or interested in supporting causes that need their help. My hope is that my collection will raise awareness for these causes.
I think that all my designs are unique because they were all created by me. I try to think of what people would like to see. I want people to want to by this stuff because it looks good, not just to support the causes. I want people to feel like they are getting their moneys worth. This clothing line is geared towards the masses, everyone is welcome here.
What are the challenges in creating a clothing line?
The hardest stuff is getting started, getting all the paperwork done so you’re legit, figuring out whos gonna make everything, how your going to bring stuff into the country. Doing this alone while working a full time job is a challange.
I work with several overseas factories in different countries. I target the factories that are certified and do not use child labor.
Can you provide any tips on choosing a factory? Explain the process in selecting one.
To find a good factory is one of the hardest things you can do, you never know who is legit and who is going to rip you off. The best advice I can give is once you find a factory that you think is good, go there and check them out.
I would consider this a bold move — to develop your own line. In your mind, how does boldness/bold decisions play into this venture — and the line itself?
Thanks, I would say the the most bold decision I had to make was deciding to commit or give up. Once i decided to commit to it, I was determined to make it work, and I am getting close.
For those looking to create a line themselves, can you provide them some resources (i.e. Websites, books, etc.) that can help get them started?
It helps to have a job in the overseas import and export business but if you don’t, I would read up on importing and exporting, check out sites like www.alibaba.com, that site gives a lot of helpful information on the business.
Where do you want your line to go? What are your goals/plans for the future?
I would like to see my stuff in some stores so that I can bring more revenue in for the causes. My plan is to donate a higher and higher percentage to the causes as revenue grows. I really would like to see other people get involved.
Provide a couple of your favorite quotes (from mentors, writers etc.)
“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” -Brian Tracy
“I just want to get better and better” -Shawn White
Visit Living People Apparel at http://www.shop.livingpeopleapparel.com. There you can buy Tom’s newest designs!
– Post by Jen Engevik of Project BE Bold