Starting your own t-shirt brand is hard. Really hard. But that isn’t stopping the founder of LYVELY.
Hailing from Tunisia, Aziz has been on a mission ever since he left his home to study in France. He eventually made it to the U.S.A. and has continued on with an unstoppable drive. His brand LYVELY is more than just a t-shirt brand, it’s representative of the core values Aziz himself has and they are reflected in his unique and stylish line of t-shirts.
We recently had the opportunity to feature Aziz and his brand, and in doing so wanted to find out more about what drives him and what the inspiration is behind his brand.
Take a look…
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I was born in Tunisia, North Africa. After graduating from Law school in France, I decided to come to the United States and take a chance to live the American Dream. The moment that I stepped on American soil, in September 2015, I knew that I made the right decision. But I could never imagine that this journey would lead me to create a streetwear and lifestyle clothing brand. So in my first year, I learned english, then I started another degree in Business Management and Administration at West Los Angeles College. It was around that time that the idea of creating my own business started growing in my mind. This led, in 2018, to the birth of LYVELY, an inspirational streetwear and lifestyle clothing brand and apparel, which gave a new direction to my life.
Why did you start designing T-shirts?
It came naturally to me. I never thought I could be a clothing designer a few years ago, but somehow I found myself pursuing this because of my love for fashion, streetwear and my willingness to share a message and inspire others. As simple as it sounds, I started designing on a notebook, using a paper and a pencil. After creating the first designs, I started loving the process. Also, I knew after I decided to start a clothing brand, that I wanted to create my own designs, around values like inspiration, simplicity, and spirituality. That is the reason why I started designing T-shirts.
What are some of your fears and apprehensions about starting a T-shirt brand?
My biggest apprehension is how people are going to receive my work, and also if they will identify with the overall idea of my brand. And my biggest fear is if I can financially sustain the brand and market it the right way until it becomes successful, knowing that the competition is fierce. Of course, many other doubts come to my mind everyday, but I remember the reasons why I started, and the people who believe in me. This gets me back on track immediately.
Who are some of your inspirations for Lyvely?
There are definitely few brands and designers that I look up to or inspire myself from. Some of the brands are Live Fit, Supreme, Stussy or Adidas. And some of the designers that I look up to are Randall Pitch, founder of Live Fit, or Ben Francis, co-founder of Gymshark. Also, I inspire myself from Japanese streetwear culture which saw the creation of foundational brands in the streetwear landscape around the world. Finally, I also inspire myself from sacred geometry, and spirituality. I find all this inspiration by searching on the web or looking on mobile apps like Pinterest or Instagram.
How can people find your T-shirts online?
They can find our T-shirts and other products on our online store: www.lyvelysupplyco.com. Also, they can find us by searching LYVELY on Etsy.com. Finally, they can check out our social media pages like Instagram (@lyvely_supplyco) and Facebook (@lyvelysupplyco) to get in touch with our creations.
What goals do you have for Lyvely?
In the long-term, I want to touch as many people as I can with Lyvely. I want to create a culture, and make it one of the best brands in its kind, and be able to carry it into the future for long years. Other goals that I have is to collaborate with other brands and designers and be able to expand internationally. In the shorter term, I want to build the brand around foundational products like T-shirts and headwear. Also, put the products in multi-brand stores and offer the opportunity to people to touch, feel and try our products. Lastly, I want to bring something new to the fashion industry by creating a brand with designs that are inspirational, that carry a message, and that keep style, simplicity, and originality as its main values.
What’s the process for coming up with new designs?
The process to come up with new designs is simple. I look at the trends and what our target customers like and inspire myself from well-established brands that are doing similar things to us. I keep in mind that we need to innovate every time and create our own style. Then, I also love to trust my inspiration and intuition and design on the spot, using a pencil and a paper when an idea comes to my mind. Then, I transfer it with my team on digital format, and we use these graphics to create our T-shirts.
As a new brand, what do you see as your biggest challenge?
As there are thousands of brands that come up every year, our biggest challenge is to pass the first stages of the creation of the business and sustain the brand throughout the years. Also, a big challenge is to find our style and place in the fashion industry, which is very competitive. So, it is important for us to bring something fresh, new and innovative and follow a well defined marketing strategy. This way, we can become a reference brand for our target customers.
Anything that you would like to say to others who are thinking about launching a T-shirt brand?
Start small and take one step at a time. Then, if you see yourself doing it for a long-term, go all in, and know that you are capable of creating something beautiful that the whole world can benefit from. So be patient with the process and do not try to take shortcuts. Also, believe in yourself and what you are doing and find people who believe in you and your vision. Those are the ones who will push you when you start doubting yourself. Finally, make sure to understand your business and your industry, for example by creating a detailed business plan, making researches, identifying your target market, and creating a line sheet for potential collaborators.