1,000 COSIGN’s: Joshua Meyers, CEO & Designer of BukuFresh Clothing | COSIGN # 56 of 1K
“I want to leave a legacy of honor and Integrity. I know this is a cut throat business but I stand on my morals and principles taught to me at a young age. So as long as I am known for that and my business is associated with those same beliefs then I feel I did my job the right way.” – Joshua Meyers
Joshua Meyers was born and raised in New Orleans, LA and graduated with a Marketing degree from Southeastern University in Hammond LA. In 2013, he started his clothing line BukuFresh after 8 years of pursuing a career in music. “I started off first as a rap artist around the age of 20, I did that for about 8 years and I didn’t feel the same love and didn’t have the same passion for it as I did when I first started. So I used the knowledge and skills I had from my Marketing degree and the experiences I went through in the music industry and decided to start my clothing company. What started as a simple spontaneous type of an idea has now blossomed into a quality brand that I and my customers can be proud of,” says Joshua.
Growing up, Joshua was into sports like many of today’s youth. He grew tall really fast and basketball became his life but then reality set in and he realized a new dream had to be constructed. “Growing up in a single parent household I watched my mom work very hard to make sure I went to the best school and had the best opportunities to succeed. She instilled in me my hustler’s mentality and my entrepreneurial spirit that I still feed off of today. I grew up in a rough neighbor but truly believe the only reason I made it out and some of my friends didn’t was because of her and the values that were passed down to her by my grandmother.” It was that hustler’s spirit that led Joshua to create Buku Fresh.
As an adolescent, Joshua never dreamed of owning his own clothing line because where he’s from he never thought it was possible. He taught himself everything about the business from computer programs to business strategies. “Self-knowledge is a forever growing aspect of my life,” he says.
What was the path that you took that lead you to creating Buku Fresh?
When I decided to step away from doing music I had a huge creativity hole to fill in my life. I didn’t have a way to express myself and get that feedback like I used to get when I played someone my new songs. I knew I had some talent in graphic designs from doing my album covers and online advertisements so I studied those computer programs more and taught myself how to make designs and it all started from there. I studied the market and came up with a company name and theme that would separate me from the competition. Once I found my manufacturers that will help me produce the clothing items then I was ready for distribution.
Who inspires you the most in the fashion industry?
I like the look and theme of some big companies like 10deep and the creativity and customer service of a company like Johnny Cupcakes. Also I like Rappers / Artist who create their own designs and concepts and not just latch on to the already established BIG brands like Gucci and Prada. Guys like 2chainz and Chris Brown use their creativity from music and create one of a kind pieces that are still artistic but the everyday person can wear it and afford it. Seeing our brothers and sisters start ideas and business from the ground up are things I can relate to and things I like to support. That’s what I like that’s what inspires me to create.
What has been your biggest struggle in getting to where you are now in the fashion industry?
My biggest struggle at first was getting people to see me as a credible business man. People only saw me as a rapper/artist so I had to shed that image and show people I was serious about my company. The second struggle I had to overcome was getting customers to believe in my brand and my message. Creating credibility has been the biggest obstacle I have overcome to this date and it has helped my company grow and expanded to what it is today.
What makes BukuFresh unique compared to the rest in your field?
I like to keep things light and fun, fashion shouldn’t be so serious all the time. It’s all about creating conversations and having fun. Being from New Orleans I like to use slogans and quotes we used to say as kids so people from my home town can always relate to my brand. It’s even in the name of the company. Buku is a term meaning “A Lot / VERY / Most” and people from New Orleans once they hear that their ears perk up and they immediate feel like they’re part of the brand.
How does your BukuFresh improve the industry you’re currently in?
I feel like hip hop urban brands have gone oversees to the big companies like Gucci, there’s not enough to represent us at a price everyone can afford and a quality above the average. We used to support our own but stopped when these bigger brands started to take over the market. I want to bring back that wave that moment in our culture when Brands like RocaWear clothing and Dipset dominated the industry. We supported those brands just like we supported the music they created. That’s why I have attached my brand to the hip hop culture because I feel I use the same creativity and can use my clothing to express myself through fashion.
What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
I have a few accomplishments I am proud of but the first one is just me getting the company started in the first place. After I hung up the mic and walked away from rapping I spent a few months brain storming ideas on what my next move would be because I only know one thing and that’s how to hustle. When this idea crossed my mind I thought it would be a hill too tall for me to climb but I got over it learned from my mistakes and setbacks and accomplished my goals I set out for myself. The other accomplishments I would reflect on is the credibility I have created for myself and my brand. Aligning myself with such figures in the DFW area such as radio host J-Kruz of 97.9 the beat / Cat Daddy of K104/ and Dallas Rapper Fat Pimp and having them wear my brand and help promote it has been a huge honor for me. I’m very humbled by their nice gestures to want and see my company rise to new heights.
How do you deal with adversity?
Adversity is just another chapter to my life story. My Mom instilled in me since I was a little child two things, “If it don’t kill you it makes you stronger” and “Only worry about the things YOU can control” and I have lived my life and conducted my business in the same way. When things fail around me I don’t get down about it I just work harder and smarter so the same mistake isn’t made twice. Coming from New Orleans and having lost so much during Hurricane Katrina I feel nothing can destroy me or knock me down. I know how to pick myself back up after a life changing disaster. So when it comes to adversity in business it’s just small things to a GIANT.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I see my business on a whole other level. I want to see it working for me just as much as I’m working for my brand. I want to be in stores locally and nationwide. I also want to have a successful WOMENS clothing division. And my ultimate goal and dream is to move me and my girl to Los Angeles and be based on the West Coast so hopefully those plans get put into play very soon. Her makeup and hair business has risen to new heights she started off small then got featured in one of the first Cosign Magazines as a beauty expert. And now she works for such BIG brands as Be-Gammed and Bravo TV. She inspires me every day to be the best person and entrepreneur I could be.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is not fancy cars and big houses, all of that is great but I feel it’s bigger than that. If I earn the respect of my family, friends, customers, and peers then I feel like that is success. My hustler’s spirit is not going away so making money will never be an issue with me but if I have a company that not only I’m proud of but everyone around me is proud to be associated with it then I am successful in my opinion. Hopefully one day I can use my brand to be a blessing for others by raising money for charities and people less fortunate because my definition of ultimate success is when I can help other people out of their bad situations. My faith in God has help me realize that its bigger than me it’s about how I can help others with the things God has blessed me with.
We #COSIGN Joshua Meyers for embodying the hustler’s spirit that was instilled in him by his mother and turning his passion into his career!
Who does Joshua #COSIGN?