Dorian Mays, former graphic designer for Daily Process Clothing, broke away to start his own label. He launched Shuē Clothing Co. in October of 2015 with business partner, Erin McIntire. By January of 2016, Shuē’s website and social media accounts were launched and the hustle was on! In April of this year, Shuē put on their first sold out fashion show at the Grove Haus in Fountain Square entitled “The Indy Arts Collective.” Teaming up with local artists to create “good vibes” inspired clothing, and making the products by hand has allowed Mays’s vision to come to life and inspire him to set bigger goals for his business.
McKenzie Price: Please describe the motive or message behind your brand.
Dorian Mays: The meaning behind it really is bringin’ back the good vibes. I’ve done a lot of studying as far as clothes and the one thing I notice a lot about some of the major clothing lines is the artists they associate themselves with speak on negative things, negative topics. I wanna change that. I want to bring a good energy, artistic vibe to my clothes.
MP: What prompted you to share this idea through your business?
DM: My background is in graphic design and as an artist you want to put all of you into your work. I was one of those few artists that really wasn’t wanting to be in the spotlight, I was more reserved. So many people would see my designs and see my personality, and they’d say, “you should do that,” and I kinda got the idea from them. I just really wanted to make a movement of good energy, with the help of a lot of friends and family.
MP: What are some of the main challenges you face as an entrepreneur?
DM: The biggest challenge is the income, the financials, to keep a business running. I literally work three jobs to keep this running. I grind so I can keep this dream alive. It’s not so much working 9-5 to keep the bills paid, but it’s working 9-5 to keep the dream going.
MP: What is the biggest reward you experience as an entrepreneur?
DM: The reaction of the person that wears my products. I design and press the shirts, basically do everything by hand. Every shirt that is sold or given out is touched by my hands. To see all that work, being up ‘til 3 am or making orders, to see their reaction as a customer is the most rewarding thing. Besides that, the pure fact that I’m doin’ it.
MP: What do you think Indianapolis can do to support more local brands?
DM: I would say as far as supporting, buyin’ the brand is huge. The biggest support to have is to have your own town wearing your things, supporting you the way you would support Nike or Jordan. When you have something that’s so awesome, like a local brand, that you can’t find anywhere else, it’s local love.
MP: Describe the kind of person who would wear your product.
DM: I would say anybody, whether they’re a child or elderly, or anybody in between can wear my products. It’s all about the connection you have with what you see. What I’m trying to put out is a message of good energy, and a message of releasing all those negative auras around you, and bringing all that positivity. If you can connect with that, then you’ll wear my product because you’ll understand and think, “This is what it is. I can sense it, I can feel it. I like it.” It’s not so much just for my demographic of 18-25 year olds. No, this is a universal product.
MP: Who is one person you’d love to see in your brand?
DM: Kid Cudi. I relate to him so much and his music definitely had an impact on my life. If by some miracle I got the chance, I would love to have my stuff on him. As for a female, I’m a fan of Jhené Aiko, because of her work advocating for a movement of peace. She has such a free spirit, it definitely coincides with what I’m doing.
MP: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
DM: Just go for it. I started this in October and from then until this interview, I’ve done so many things I would have never believed I could ever do, like putting on my own fashion show. I didn’t think I’d ever do that or have the connections to do it, but I just did it. Once you make that leap, don’t worry about the fall, just worry about making it happen.
MP: How do you hope your brand will evolve in the future years?
DM: I hope it evolves the way it’s meant to. The worst thing you can do is rush into something blind. I see my business growing every day, making big strides, but I also want it to grow the way it’s supposed to grow. Hopefully, same time next year, it will be more than just a local brand at its first expo. Hopefully by then you’ll see it on the red carpet or in different photo shoots.
MP: How do you think celebrity endorsed street wear is influencing modern street style?
DM: I believe it’s given a lot of variety to a lot of clothing. I would say even to the extent that sportswear is now fashionable. With Puma teaming up with Rihanna, they’re meshing clothing and culture together and making something out of it. It’s giving a wide variety of styles, culture to a lot of clothing now. If you see somebody wearing a Yeezy Season 3 shirt with holes in it, you probably would think he was a homeless man until you looked at the whole outfit. It’s very complex, but also very simple.