Today we’d like to introduce you to Cedric Brown.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Cedric. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As a toddler, I grew up sketching stylish women on paper. By the 5th grade, I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. In middle school, I cultivated an entrepreneurial mindset by selling candy and mix CDs. By 10th grade, I won my first art competition “What My Future Holds”, sponsored by Vox ATL. Going to high schools across metro Atlanta, my winning entry was featured in their May issue. I used the cubism technique to display a fashionable couple standing in the middle of a park, wearing my personal clothing line. Its caption read: “In my future, I want to be like Sean John and Ralph Lauren and have my own clothing line.”
Throughout grade school and community college, I received multiple art accolades, such as having my artwork displayed in a children’s exhibition in Beijing, China, as well as having my painting about gambling prevention featured on 8 billboards across metro Atlanta. One of these billboards was at the intersection of Whitehall and McDaniel Street, close to my family’s roots in Mechanicsville. The support of my mother and art mentors, as well as the recognition I received, boosted my confidence to pursue my dreams. It was then that I knew the sky was the limit.
Through hard work and dedication, I obtained my degree in Fashion Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, completely debt free. After graduation, I completed design internships in Atlanta, New York City and Hong Kong. I later enrolled in some small business courses, which helped me to give it a leap of faith and launch my accessory line: Cedric Brown Collections.
I initially designed and sold custom-made scarves because it was the best way to showcase my background in both art and fashion. Since then my business continues to grow. I’ve added ties, bow ties, handkerchiefs and capes to the collection. Currently, my designs are sold online and in over six stores, such as Mansion on Forsyth Park Grand Bohemian Gallery, Ebenezer Baptist Church Gift Shop and Square Threads. We also do pop up shops throughout the whole year. Many consumers have been requesting new products from Cedric Brown Collections, making us confident that the business will continue to expand.
Has it been a smooth road?
Entrepreneurship definitely takes a lot of guts. It’s one of the biggest risk-taking adventures you can undergo, but it can be very rewarding. Yes, my beautiful designs have taken me somewhere; however, to be an entrepreneur takes more than that. You must be business savvy, be a good salesman, take some calculated risks, keep an open mind, maintain your persistence and work hard. Oh, and prayer works for me as well.
When I first started out I struggled with finding stores that were a good match for my product. For me, paying taxes was the hardest part of learning how to sell my art on my own. Throughout my career, my mother has been supportive. She once told me “If a person can stand out on the street corner risking their life to sell a rock, I know you can sell a scarf.” It gave me confidence that I can sell my own work, too.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
“It’s luxury streetwear. It’s the new era,” I stated on my CNN special about streetwear and the fall of the sagging pants trend. My business, Cedric Brown Collections, is the new fashion forward-brand out of the South, which boasts street appeal and more. We offer luxury, elegance, quality, and versatility. Our slogan “From evening wear to streetwear, CBC makes a chic statement” rings true. Sending a message through my colorful, bold prints I create abstract art that is made into limited edition prints on silk accessories Each piece of my eponymous collection boasts hand-crafted designs that catch the eye and refuse to let go.
The versatility of my accessories ensures that they can be worn for any occasion. In our trunk shows and video tutorials, we show our customers different ways to wear scarves including, but not limited to crafting a halter top, tying a head wrap, and tailoring your neckerchief. Our accessories come with first-class packaging, personable customer service, and southern charm.
From top celebrities, Young Thug and Wale to news anchor Jovita Moore, Debbie Tuff and CNN Commentator Dr. Jason Johnson our consumers embrace bold colors crave originality and are loving patrons of the arts. Even young, professional men are loving our one-of-a-kind pocket square designs! My work has been displayed on CNN, Jezebel, Sheen, The Birmingham Times and State Farm.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Since online businesses are becoming more and more popular, I don’t think it matters what city you start in. However, I do feel Atlanta a great city for networking and gaining exposure. With so many entertainers living here or coming here to do business, it’s a great way to get into the mix.
Atlanta is definitely the place to be for me. It’s my hometown, and I think it is the perfect place for my business to grow. As of right now, the cost of living isn’t as high as other artist-driven places, which allows me to invest more money into my business. The community supports its local artists, and I consider Atlanta an open market. If you want the best opportunity for yourself, you have to create it and put yourself out there.
- Yes, Atlanta Voyage readers can receive 20% off an item using code ATLVOY. Our retail prices range from $25-$90 and we often run sales on ties and pocket squares. Currently, you can receive two pocket squares for 30 with the code 2@30, and you can get two ties for $50 with the code 2@50.