Grits Co. | Skillshare Projects

Reuben Levi

Founder of Grits Co.



Grits Co.

Your Name:  Reuben Levi  

Location: Houston, Texas

Brand Name:  Grits Co.

Slogan/Mission Statement:

Grits was created to graphically represent the southern experience in an unapologetic way. Our slogan is simple, “No Grits No Glory”, It’s a reminder that if you want to do something you love for a living, you will have to put your whole self into it and never give up.

Guts to Skin:

I started Grits when I was tired of working for faceless corporations and mediocre bosses. I wanted to escape the tyranny of a conventional 9-5. My career was fairly typical of most designers and finally one day I found myself working at a creative job that didn't provide any creative satisfaction. I then realized that I was losing sight of the creative freedom I had when creating my own art. The job was sucking the creativity out of me. I had spent the majority of my 20's working nonstop and I didn’t want to spend another second in my life doing the same thing. That is when I took control of my dreams and creative inspiration to create this brand.

It began with only a name that reminded me of Southern culture , “Grits”. The concept was simple, “No Grits No Glory”, It’s a reminder that if you want to do something you love for a living, you will have to put your whole self into it and never give up.  Hold back and you will never be able to make your dreams become reality.  It’s that simple. Love what you do and who you are in life and all things are possible.  This is what defines us and gives us a sense of self and what keeps us young, focused, and driven. So when it came time for me to establish my own brand I stuck with the idea and this is how "Grits" came to be.

I knew going into starting a new company I would have to be open for critcs and taking a lot of risk.  While some believe there are so many reasons not to take risk, my theory is being safe is risky, being mediocre is risky, being average is being risky. So live life with the risk and keep grinding hard at what you believe. Be utterly unsympathetic about pursuing your freedom and setting realistic goals to capture your dreams. It’s your freedom that will get you to where you want to go. I believe from having this outlook, my brand has been able to capture the true american grit of working hard and living the "Gritty American Dream".

The "Gritty American Dream" for us is a staple to why we push so hard to raise above the others. Always creating fresh new Southern inspired work that will help capture the eye of the hard working man in the factory to the fields, to the city boy on his skateboard, or the classic car enthusist, life is "Grits". Hardwork, hard grinding, never giving up, and following your dreams.

Grits Co. DNA

Southern Lifestyle

We wanted to create a brand that was not just one dimensional. A brand that had different layers and flavors of what we would like to wear and that represented people like us. Some fresh "Soul" to a very bland, basic, typical playing field.  We wanted to be the odd kids out of the group, the "Garbage Pail Kids" which were only the ugly spawns of the "Cabbage Patch Dolls" just plain weird. New flavor, the New South, exposing the truths behind why it is so special and makes people everywhere want to represent.

So we use the words and narratives of our southern lifestyle that inspire us and the look of the Grits Co. Brand. There is a similar experience we get from the look and feel of vintage garments and products…these stories go beyond just the thread and fiber. The vintage products and fabrics became the perfect canvas for us juxtapose our modern narrative. We embrace that idea and want to keep all of our goods authentic and true. Grits takes a lot of hard work, determination, and grind.

We believe every garment should tell the story; whether its hand crafted in the USA, classic bold imagery, hand chain-stitched lettering, to the vintage feel shirts made from dead stock heritage fabrics. Those stories remind us of a  time when anything was possible if you just dreamed it. All you need is some "True Grit" to make it happen and thats what we believe.

Grits Co. Spring/Summer 2014

Grits Co. "True Grit" collection for Spring/Summer 2014 continues with the sub-line’s riffs on rebellious American style mixed with Southern flavor.  "True Grit" represents what we believe in and live every day. To be "True" to ourselves, our brand, and our dream and "Grit" represents the hard work, focus, drive, and determination to keep grinding at what we believe in to bless others.  Each piece is a comment on the Southern experience through the food, music, language and lifestyle.

With the likes of our appropriated crow icon "Roscrow", swings references to Southern Hip Hop, Jazz, and Blues. As well as allusions to southern dialect and culture. Our "True Grit" collection is real "Greasy" we like to show all of our flavor with a nice taste of the South, so put some South in yo Mouth and enjoy Grits Co. "True Grit" 2014.


The endowment from this class would be a big BLESSING, and would go into producing the garments and visual "Look Book" items for the "True Grit" 2014 Spring Collection, purchasing marketing materials (ex. Stickers, Swag, Buttons), attending 2014 Agenda Trade Show in Las Vegas/Long Beach (passes already provided by Via Jeff Staple Skillshare "Top 50" Brand Winner), purchase my baby girl Brooklynn Pearl a motorized motorcycle, and of course to keep flipping the money into more shirts and oppurtunities.

As a part of being from the South, we usually have a assortment of phrases to describe people or certain situations. Kind of like the seasoning to the Soul Food. Just another way of life and culture.  Lessons have always been carried down through spoken language and Southern Sayings are the same way. We have heard many of these sayings from our ancestors and they have been passed down to help us with our own hustle through life. We continue to use these sayings as sort of a way to pay homage to those that have grinded hard before us to allow us the oppurtunity that we have today to share our gifts, our goals, and our dreams.

The lessons we have learned from our elders are tips and commandants of how to get through life and never give up.  So we took the best sayings that resonated with us and devised our very own "10 Gritty Commandments". As we worked on this project we kept our daughter Brooklynn Pearl in mind, we wanted to break this down for her in the future. As if we were giving her the keys to the car to drive. The same way our Great Grandparents, and Grandparents taught us, but with a new age spin, so we couldn't drop just one!

These Commandments are not only for business but for life and we hope that we explain them well. Check out the video for the "10 Gritty Commandments Lo Down".

Click Here For The Video.

Here is the abridged version of our Ten Gritty Commandments.

For more info check us out on all our social platforms. 
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