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Carolina Throne

To start my project, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Josh Brice and I'm a 21 year old college student in North Carolina. My project is about my entrepreneurial venture, Carolina Throne. Carolina Throne (CT) is the clothing brand I have started, based on the support of local NC music. The 21st of this month will mark the 1-year anniversary of when CT first became a seed of an idea. At the time, I was 20 years old, struggling with paying my way through community college at a part-time job at Target.  My days dragged on, my nights were restless.  Everything at the time seemed to be going wrong for me. As I looked around at my friends, they all seemed to be doing something more. Some were in rock bands, some were starting rap groups (or going for it on their own), some were DJ'ing at local bars, basically anything "cool" you could think of.  Now I've never been very musically inclined, meaning I have never really been able to make my own music. However, I've always had a strong passion for it.  It has always been something that struck my attention.

So, late one October night, I was sleepless once again, laid up in my bed watching YouTube videos.  At the time, I had just gotten my hands on Machine Gun Kelly's "Lace Up" album; an album that encompasses the very act of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. Very motivating, very inspiring. In his video for "Chip off the block", he is seen wearing a shirt that has his brand, EST 19XX on the front, and on the back it said "I put on for my city" (a phrase made famous by Young Jeezy) in all capital letters.  Now, if you know who MGK is, you also probably know about his love for his hometown, Cleveland. He mentions it in most of his songs. As I got to thinking about my hometown and what kind of music it has produced, and who is out there "putting on" for my city, nothing came to mind. It was mind-blowing looking at all the talent around me, and no one had anything to show for it. It was heartbreaking, really. I could count on one hand the number of recognizable artists from North Carolina. After watching that music video, I watched another by him.  This time it was his video for "See My Tears".  I hadn't heard this song at the time, and when I did, it hit me like a bag of bricks. I'm not going to describe the song in detail, but I felt as if it were about me, right there in that place and time.  I came up with the idea of starting a clothing line. A clothing line that would be able to support not only itself, but other artists coming from NC. Between my love of music and my background of skateboarding, I had hit the streetwear business. 

Before I even had a name for my company, I had the logo. It was the first thing that popped into my head: an upside down crown. After I had the idea for the logo, I tried to think of a name that fit the logo and the purpose of supporting NC talent. Eventually I came up with the name Carolina Throne. It felt perfect and i loved it. All in one night, I had come up with the idea, the name and the logo. Knowing I wasn't going to sleep that night, I went ahead and got an image off google and came up with a prototype design made in Microsoft Paint. Here's the original logo:

I was extremely excited about this new project, but knew this clip art design wouldn't suffice if I wanted to start a legitimate business. After molding my idea even more, I went to a friend if mine who is a graphic artist. I told him all about the idea and showed him the makeshift logo. He got back to me the next day with this:

It was perfect. The way he created the shape of the crown using the North Carolina outline was amazing to me, and continues to be a huge selling point for the company. I realize that this project has dragged on a little, and i may have gotten off topic, but I've never actually told the whole origin story. There are so many details I've even left out here. But here we are, one year later. In this time, I've met countless connections and built meaningful relationships (and made a little $$ on the way) but the most important part to me is the fact that I started from nothing an built this company, this image. Carolina Throne is my blood. It is my guts. It is my skin, It is me, putting myself out there for the benefit of others, as well as myself. Since starting this endeavor, I've gone on an endless journey to learn the craft, to educate myself and to seek out methods of improving my image, which has led me to this class. Marc Ecko is a streetwear pioneer. He has seen it all, done it all. Not only is he a hero and role model to me, but to thousands of others and I'm happy to be participating in this class.

www.instagram.com/carolinathrone

www.facebook.com/carolinathrone

Twitter: @carolinathrone

www.bigcartel.com/carolinathrone

So... as much as this class has inspired me and pushed me forward with new knowledge and perception, I have failed to update my peers on my progress. Honestly, I don't even know who (if anyone) will read this, but it seems important right now. 

It's almost 2014, and Carolina Throne is a real thing. People know about it, online presence is growing, designs are getting better and sales are growing, slowl but surely.  as I look at the year ahead of me, it's exciting and frightening at the same time.  I've been having more and more opportunities come across my path. The hard part is knowing which are right to pursue, where to invest my time and effort, and who is going to influence my company in the right ways. All I know is I'm about to flow a lot of personal income into this company in 2014, and I feel like this year is going to be critical in the life of Carolina Throne. 

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I'm going to change directions.  I was doing some deep thinking, one of my main hobbies, and I came to a certain realization. If I were to call it quits today and completely stop pursuing the success of Carolina Throne, I would be at a loss when it comes to money. However, the development of this company has been a journey of self-education, creativity, and entrepreneurial vision that is going to be priceless in my later endeavors. Don't get me wrong, I still have 100% faith in it, but i know with a clear conscious that no matter what, this has all been worth it. 

The new year is coming. I am going to embrace it and take it for all its worth. No Royalty Without Loyalty

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