Students start clothing line Quality Connect

By Shavonna Hill, Staff Writer — Quality Connect is a new clothing line started by GlenOak juniors Jason Raye, Tryston Blose, and St. Thomas junior Richard Drummond. The brand started in early August, with several shirts already being sold.

“I like clothes a lot, I wanted to start making clothes because it seemed like a fun idea,” Raye said.

It took two months to come up with the name of the brand. He used a notebook and wrote random words until one name stood out. Raye ordered the shirts and Drummond gave them to his father’s friend so they could get the logo printed on. After a few weeks of online promoting on social media, the shirts were finished and Quality Connect already had pre-orders.

“I bought my shirt two days after they got shipped,” one of the first customers of Quality Connect, Nathan Curry said.

“I plan to take Quality Connect as far as it will go,” Raye said.

They plan to make more clothes, not just t-shirts for the future.

“We’re trying to put a lot of time into this and make it more than just a hobby,” Drummond said.

Between going to different schools, playing sports and Drummond’s rap career,the boys make getting together to work on the line a priority.

Blose took as many opportunities as possible, advertising on his own personal social media accounts and selling to close friends who support Quality Connect.

“It’s all about networking,” Blose said. “Once our sales increase, and we can make more money then we will advertise our clothing more through a better website, an official Twitter, and an Instagram page.”

People who bought the shirts helped promote by posting pictures, telling their followers to buy the shirts and help the brand become known.

In all, $500 has been used on buying the shirts printing the logo, and purchasing tags to put on the clothing.

Raye believes that a lot of sales have been missed due to not having enough sizes for shirts or not having a certain size at all.

“It’s not all about the money, we want people to experience the creativity we have,” Drummond said.

In Quality Connect’s first advertised post on Instagram, Raye, Drummond and Blose made a statement about their brand.

The boys explained that they are not appealed by what people think about their ideas. This is a dream.

“We have a vision to become young entrepreneurs with free minds and make clothing that people can express its own visions and fashion throughout. The process of becoming a successful establishment is going to take a lot of hard work and every member of our team has to be focused and determined on our goals,” Raye said.

They are not interested in other occupations. They are outing all of their time into this dream.

“We want to give our future customers full creative control with simple yet quality garments and accessories. This is not a business. We are not interested in focusing on money but rather Quality over Quantity,” Blose said.

[Updated Aug. 8, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]