Clothing Designer Marty Grace
I push my line like a doctor pushes a cure for cancer. Also my designs are really crazy and the good thing is I really don't work hard at creating them.
We recently caught up with up and coming urban clothing designer and gospel rap artist Marty Grace, who is the man behind the soon to be major clothing line Designs By Marty Grace. In 2008 Grace, launched his "Rep Yo Hood" brand as a means for New Yorkers to be able to proudly show off which area of New York City they belong to, in a classy, positive manner, with each design reflecting various degrees of New York pride and personality. Grace talked with us about his life, and just how he went from working as an employee at the US Postal Service to launching his own successful clothing line.
BSN: So Marty for those who may not be familiar with you could you tell us a little bit more about what you did before you decided to start your own clothing business?
MG: Well I worked for the United States Postal Service for 22 years before I decided to quit and trust God to do my own business.
BSN: What inspired you to start your business Designs By Marty Grace?
MG: My hustling nature inside of me. One day I said I could make shirts just like everyone else and because I know how to sell stuff I could move them.
BSN: How did you go about finding sponsors interested in helping you start your business, and what was the most challenging obstacle you faced in starting your business?
MG: Well I didn't find sponsors what I did was believe in myself. I took a $100,000 out my escrow for my house. I had been to China about two times before so this time I had money. So I contacted people in different countries to get some things manufactured and Bam. I now have so many different things to sell.
BSN: Now there are so many different clothing brands out there in the world today such as Sean John, Phat Farm, Roc- A-Wear and the list goes on, what would you say makes your clothing brand stand out from the rest?
MG: What makes mine stand out from the rest is my grind and my designs. I push my line like a doctor pushes a cure for cancer. Also my designs are really crazy and the good thing is I really don't work hard at creating them. There just very unique. My clothing line will always be a step above the rest.
BSN: Now you've marketed your products to many big name celebrities and politicians such as Eric Benet, Doug E. Fresh, and Mayor Bloomberg. How did you manage to network with these well known individuals and get them to endorse your products, and what was that process like?
MG: Well because in life if you want something you have to be a go getter. If you see something you go after it. I targeted these people and purposed to make an impact on them when I met them. Basically I chased them down and made sure when I walked away from them they remembered who Marty Grace was.
BSN: What would you say is the most rewarding aspect in relation to owning your own clothing business?
MG: Rewards only come from what you put into your line. They don't always have to be Monetary. My rewards are seeing people rock my wear when I'm driving down the street and when someone calls me while they are on the train and says "I saw this girl rocking your hoodie".
BSN: What advice would you give to other young men and women who are interesting in starting their own clothing business? MG: Make sure you have an idea of what it is you want to do with your line. You can be taken advantage of because of what you don't know. I'm here for you if you need me.
BSN: I also read that you are also a gospel hip hop artist, can you tell us how you began your career in the music industry?
MG: In 1978 I use to DJ; I started rapping and by 1985 I put out a record. In 1986 I was the first artist to make a Wop song called "Wop It Up Yall" then in the same year I got saved and started doing Gospel Rap becoming the first artist to do that in NYC.
BSN: What has the process of recording a gospel album been like for you?
MG: Very exciting, I've been over 750 different places rapping the Gospel and when I visited China went to a club and banged it out there. I feel good when I walk off the stage or walk a way and people tell me that they loved my music and ministry.
BSN: As a gospel artist who would you like to work with in the future?
MG: I think the question should be who do I think will want to work with me in the future I'm HOT!
BSN: What direction do you want to go in with your music career and clothing business?
MG: I just want to touch people lives and let them know how good God is and he is in the blessing business like crazy. No matter what kind of life you have lived he is there by your side.
BSN: Now Marty, you must be a very busy man with managing your own business and finding time to record songs for your album--how do you find the time to pursue your dreams while still making sure to have time for yourself?
MG: Well I really don't have time, so what I do is find pleasure in what I do and my time is included in that.
To See Some of Marty Grace's Designs or to Buy Some of Marty's Merchandise Visit Designs By Marty Grace at:
"Speaking Truth To Empower."