B-Spotlight w/Lorielle Broussard of BARACKAWEAR!

B-Spotlight: Lorielle Broussard of BARACKAWEAR
(Lorielle Broussard, Barackawear Inc. Co-founder)

Q: What inspired you to start the Barackawear collection?
A: Last summer, my brother was watching Obama's rally in Austin, TX on TV and saw a woman holding a Barack the Vote sign in the crowd. It was just written in marker, but he immediately thought it would be amazing to put those words with the old Rock the Vote logo. He told me about it and I thought it was a great idea, so I designed it, we put 700 bucks together, made 100 shirts and sold them to friends and family. We sold out in less than a week and one of those shirts got to CSI: NY star, Hill Harper. He loved the shirt and happened to be co-hosting Oprah's fundraiser for Obama in Montecito, CA. Two weeks after we made our first batch, and two days before his event, he called and said he wanted 250 shirts to go in gift bags at a private after party. Needless to say, we got the shirts made and they were a hit. At the same time, we had created a very basic online store, barackawear.com and were selling shirts. Barackwear, Inc. has evolved from that initial 700 dollar investment last August to over 500K in sales since then. We were never sure it would get this big, but we always hoped it would and we always planned for it.

(Hill Harper, Cornell West, Michael Eric Dyson)

Q: Real talk - fashion or politics? Which are you more passionate about?
A: Well, my heart has always been in fashion ever since I was little, so that's where the passion lays. I mean I'm interested in politics but I've never even been involved in a political campaign before this one. It's different this time around because we actually got inspired by Barack Obama to get up and help.

(Hill Harper & Ciara)

Q: How does your politically-inspired line differ from others being sold everywhere from the Internet to larger chain retailers?

A: Our line is different because we genuinely started it because we wanted to help get Barack Obama get into the White House. We never thought that it would be this big at all. We also give 25% of our net proceeds to the campaign and do events and fundraisers to raise awareness as well as
register people to vote.

(Hosea Chanchez, waitress, Coby Bell)

Q: How did you initially spread the word about the line?We started out by emailing our friends and family the site and told them
A: what we were doing. From there, they spread the word and so on. After we realized what an impact we could really make with our line, we started doing email marketing campaigns all over the country by using our resources (friends) in every state we knew someone.

(Justin Reese - Barackawear supporter, and my homeboy from N.O.!)

Q: Who has been spotted wearing your gear?
A: There have been a few spotted sporting some Barack the Vote gear.
Hill Harper, Perez Hilton, Will I Am, Coby Bell, Hosea Chanchez. Wendy Raquel Robinson, Eva Pigford, Lance Gross and others to name a few...

(Brandon (Barackawear Co-founder, Samuel L. Jackson, Lorielle)

(Will.I.Am and Lorielle)

(Wendy Raquel Robinson and Niecy Nash)

Q: Is presidential candidate, Barack Obama, aware of your company?
A: Barackawear, He loves it. He definitely is aware of our company. We actually met him and he loves our story. He was just greatly appreciative, he knew who we were and he encouraged us keep going strong because our effort helps. We had heard his assistants tell us that before, but to hear it from him was a "wow" moment.

Q: So wait, how did he hear about Barackawear?
A: Well, I am friends with a few people that work directly for him and a ton of the people on his staff wear our shirts all the time, so he was bound to notice that it wasn't his "official campaign gear.

(Future President Barack Obama w/ Co-Founders of Barackawear Inc.)

Q: What is "Barack the Vote" going to do as we get closer to election time? Anything special coming up?
A: We actually are going to the DNC with a crew of people to represent and support Barack Obama. Also, we have an event coming up with Hill Harper's foundation, Manifest Your Destiny, in late September. In the meantime, we are doing a few voter registration events at Spelman College in late August, but for any other upcoming events, check out the site, www.barackthevote.com, where we keep everything up to date.

Q: What's next for your company after the election?
A: We will have a new post election shirt and we are in the process of launching our new line of YOTOWN shirts. They're super fresh and I think they'll be as big if not bigger than our Barack the Vote shirts.
(Lance Gross & Eva Marcille)

Q: Where can The B-Life readers purchase Barackawear?
A: Www.barackthevote.com or any of the retailers that we have listed on our website. We actually just got into the store Against All Odds, they have 65 stores around the country.

1 comment:

Southern_Lady said...

Thanks for this post!! I was just on the site yesterday, but the online shop was unavailable. I'm trying again. That's a success story if I ever heard one!