This year I’ve met a lot of people virtually, but Rob Sherrell was one of the best. He started his streetwear brand [get]BUSY this year and already sold out two collections, one a week after it dropped. Earlier this month I was transported to his apartment in LA where we chatted about his brand, tweeting things into existence and what it was like majoring in stand up comedy.
Samantha Ripperger: Tell me about yourself and your brand, [get]BUSY.
Rob Sherrell: I was born and raised in Indianapolis. I went to Indiana University and majored in standup comedy. I do a lot of traveling, well pre COVID I did a lot of traveling. I’ve lived in a lot of different cities, mostly for work including Chicago, Toronto, Boston and Thailand. Each one for a 3-5 month period of time. As soon as I got back from Thailand I moved to Los Angeles and I now work for Faculty Management Productions which is a Live Nation affiliate. During the pandemic, I started my streetwear line, [get]BUSY. I’ve always really been into the streetwear scene. I had aspirations and dreams of designing my own things and sorting it all out for myself, but I didn’t really have the time. Once everything came to a halt, I decided to literally get busy and work out what I wanted my brand to be and go for it!
SR: Is that where the name came from? To [get]BUSY and just get started?
RS: Literally yeah! If you look at the logo, it’s a post-it note. I remember sitting at my desk looking at all these different notes on my cork board thinking about all the free time I have and how I’ve always wanted to design streetwear. That’s kind of where the name came from. It’s a reminder. I’m a creative of multiple trades and I feel like as creatives we can get really bogged down with having the idea to wait til the timing is right or this or that falls into place.
SR: So you went to IU and majored in stand up comedy. Is that really a major?
RS: Um no! In like 2014 they had a program there called the individualized major program and you can put together a curriculum and get it approved. I decided to major in stand up comedy, because I’m a comedian. I write jokes, I write scripts, I write comedy and I was performing a lot at the time. I was majoring in Law and Policy: Political Science. I switched over and they thought I was crazy, because no one else had ever done something like that. I wouldn’t change it for the world. It was an incredible experience, but I’ve always been the type of person to want to do my own thing. I’m not afraid to go against the grain. I’m not afraid to experiment.
SR: You have to have that mindset to be a creative for sure!
RS: Yeah. I think we’re reaching a point now culturally where creatives are really celebrated as an incredible, incredible thing. I think that people should be able to look at something and think, “Ok how can I do that. What can I do around that? What types of projects can I think about and concept and create and put out into the world.” That’s what [get]BUSY is about. I want people to see me getting creative and be inspired to create their own thing.
SR: One thing that I appreciate about you and your brand is your attention to detail, specifically with your marketing. Getting that package from your second collection in the mail, I was blown away! The packaging was branded, and you included some additional fun items, besides the clothing. A lot of up and coming brands don’t consider all the fine details. Why is that important to you and why do you think it helps your brand stand out?
RS: In my day job, I work in experimental production, essentially putting pieces together to create a moment or experience that someone will remember long after. What I think is different about my brand is I consider my releases to be an event. When I think about an event, I’m thinking how do I make people feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves or bigger than this one thing. For me, the clothes, materials, quality, and the designs are important. You’re not just getting clothes, you’re getting branded packaging, a note with wash instructions, a custom made sticker, and something to interact with.
SR: You describe this collection as, “a curated immersive project after 18 months of traveling across North America and taking Polaroid photos.” Is there a specific photo that stands out to you or means the most to you?
RS: Ooooohh. There’s a lot! I think it would have to be the one I had taken in Toronto. It was the wrap party for the project I was working on. I actually managed the project so all the staff came together and they wanted to do superlatives. I didn’t expect to get one, but I remember looking at it saying, “What is this,” and right then they snapped the picture of my face and I look so confused! It was hilarious!
SR: In 2016 you tweeted that you wanted to get into clothing and four years later you have two sold-out collections. What else do you want to tweet into existence?
RS: I’m also a filmmaker so I decided to do a branded film for this release as well. I have some more short film scripts that I’ve been writing and the next thing I’ll tweet into existence is that I’ll win another film festival award.
SR: What’s next for your brand?
RS: I am in the planning process and what I want to do is a collection of different styles of jackets. I don’t want to name specific styles but there’s one I’m excited to get out there. I have some really cool interactive concepts that I’m playing around with.
SR: Do you have anything else to add?
RS: Shoutout to Smitty and his workout brand Live For Today, Shoutout Gordo and Streetly, Cargo Streetwear, Poindexter, my boy Casey The Icon, shout out to the fellas over at 7House. Y’all keep grinding and inspiring!