Friday, June 24, 2011

Create! Destroy! Conquer! An Artistic Entrepreneurship Story

           LAE Beauty was created by two entrepreneurs Kelley and Lauren Anderson. Therefore, for this week’s blog post we’d like to show a case study of a pair of entrepreneurs starting their business in Tampa, Florida, the area of LAE’s next stop in their Fresh.Healthy.Smart lifestyle.
           Creative Destruction Clothing is a clothing and shoe line that was started in Tampa, Florida, by two entrepreneurs: Daniel Fernandez and Cameron Barbas. The two 23-year-old men have collaborated with many prominent tattoo artists to create a line that showcases artistic expression that usually bears in tattoos.
            The shoes in their line have been trademarked with the name Tats. CDC also produces hats and apparel for men and women. This product line opens up opportunity for tattoo artists around the country to showcase their artwork on a canvas that is being sold nationally.

            The company began its marks two years ago between local tattoo artists and the creator/founder, Daniel Fernandez. “As a graduated photography major I am truly passionate about art, style, and color. For years this is the reason for all of my tattoos. People go out and think its cool to have tattoos, which it is (he says through a smile), but people miss the artistic value of what most of these artists possess. This is an opportunity to work together with people who have the same drive and beliefs I have and it still gives me goose bumps to think of where we’ve come as a company and the potential we have to reach,” says Daniel Fernandez.
            The first thirteen designs of Tats came from two Tampa local tattoo shops, Ink Fink and Las Vegas Tattoo. Mucca, of Ink Fink, designed the first two pairs of Tats. Mucca airbrushed with a style of tattoo art, called sugar skulls. “I love that CDC opens the door for me to get my style of art out there,” says Mucca.

            A few of the other current designers for Tats come from Ybor City’s Las Vegas Tattoo. Steven “Fish” Warner, Jon Clark and Michael Hall all bring in their own sense of style to the CDC brand.
            “The difference between designing shoes and tattooing is that CDC allows me so much more freedom. There is no specific avenue with these guys; they just want me to draw…the shoes allow us to go beyond the tattoo enthusiasts and into a realm where people normally wouldn’t look at our artwork because of the negative stereotype some people have of tattoos and the artists,” says Steven “Fish” Warner, tattoo artist.
            From airbrushing, to markers, to pencils, the designs behind Creative Destruction Clothing come from all angles. All the shoes are said to “come to life” in their designs. A unique sense of fashion for a range of age groups has emerged with this company. Fan favorites for the 35+ age group appear to be the By the Bay and Gone Fishin’.
           This company, based on artistic expression, “gives credit where credit is due”. Not only are the artists paid for their work, but they are also paid commission when the designs they produced sell on the products. Once paid for the design, it is shipped to a manufacturer. The design is then reproduced on a canvas that then molds into a shoe. Finally, the design is covered with a protective mold to protect the artwork.
            The doors truly opened for these two entrepreneurs at their first trade show in Tampa, Florida. According to Cameron Barbas, “Artists were approaching us from all over the state and other parts of the country asking how they can be a part of the team and design a pair of Tats, Without hesitation Dan and I told them the process, gave them a pair of blank shoes and the rest is history."
            There are now artists working on designs from all over, including: Tampa, Tallahassee, New Port Richey, Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, California and Indiana. The CDC storefront will be opening next month at 500 S. Howard Avenue in Tampa, Florida. The store will include clothing, shoes, hats, and even girl’s bottoms.
            Through hard work and determination, Daniel Fernandez and Cameron Barbas have created an inspiring company in the heart of a rough economy. Their products showcase unique styles and creative fashion sense. For those that support tattoos, and those who support the intricate designs behind them, these products are just the things to sport. The two uphold their motto: Create! Destroy! Conquer!
            Cameron Barbas, one of the owners of CDC, says he will even visit LAE Beauty Inc., once we make our way to Tampa, Florida.

            This story just goes to show, that anything is truly possible. From opening a tanning salon and nurturing it to becoming a prominent and up scale Medi-spa that is becoming ready to brand nationally, to creating a clothing line based around artwork from the talented community, opportunities are what you make them.
             "The only thing that comes to a sleeping man is dreams,” so wake up and go out there to make your own dreams come true. From one entrepreneurship story to another, good luck!

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