Interview x Pathways Apparel | UK Streetwear
Exclusive interview with the on-the-come-up Bristol-based UK Streetwear brand Pathways Apparel Peep the journey to independent organic growth and commitment. We stand by their brand ethos “Aim High”.
This is how it’s done.
1. What is the start-up story behind your brand?
I have always been a huge fan of independent clothing brands from a young age and have watched brands grow from start-up companies with one product to owning their own high street store.
In 2014, I found myself in a stable position to be able to launch Pathways and give it the commitment it needs and deserves.
2. Describe your visual concepts, what is it like? What are three words that best define it?
I have traveled a lot and have taken inspiration from things I have seen around the world. I guess there isn’t really a specific concept for the designs; I always have a notepad on me so any ideas I can jot down on the go.
Hmm three words – Unique, Individual and Eye Catching
3. In three words, characterize who you are.
Enthusiastic, Motivated and Hard-working.
4. What’s something that’s always running inside your mind lately?
I am constantly striving to push the brand and keep improving our product range; lately I have been thinking and looking into customizing our products more with personalized labels / hem tags / finishes and have been thinking about what aspects I can do myself.
5. Being in your position, I’m sure it can be overwhelming with the workload.
How do you achieve balance in life?
There are times that the workload can be hectic but I enjoy it. I have never viewed Pathways as ‘work’ or as a chore, I enjoy being creative and love running the business from coming up with new designs, planning for the next range to personally posting every order.
6. What’s one incident that would serve as a turning point to your life?
I think completing the Mongol Rally was a big point in my life, not necessarily a turning point but an eye-opener. It made me realize that you really can achieve anything you want to in life and that all the hard work paid off. The feeling of crossing the finish line having driven to Mongolia from the UK was unreal – the party that night was pretty good too! Our brand ethos ‘aim high’ reflects this.
7. What three pieces of advice would you give to others when it comes to life & career?
Firstly, aim high. I’m a big believer of ‘you get out what you put in’ and so always say to people work hard – if you want something then you have to go out and make it happen, so yeah secondly I’d say work hard. Thirdly, have fun and enjoy what you’re doing. It’s easy to get bogged down and forget the reason why you began doing whatever it is you’re doing but at the end of the day you have got to enjoy it and have fun in life!
8. What’s a typical day in your life like?
I get up pretty early as you can’t get much done sleeping! I’ll make sure I update all the social media pages at key points in the day (usually morning, late afternoon and evening and maybe around midnight UK time for overseas customers).
All orders are posted out following the day of purchase so I’ll take a trip to the post office and send out all orders and also go through my emails in the morning.
I’m just about to finish a placement and then am heading back to University for my final year so each day is kinda all over the place at the moment!
9. What’s one of the highlighting moment in your career? Why is it so?
Selling out of our black classic logo was really cool. I think because it was our logo tee and our logo is a huge part of our brand it was nice to know people were into it and liking it. It was also amazing to have sold out in something within the first couple of months. I get such a buzz whenever an order comes in!
10. What stops you from throwing in the towel and giving up during those frustrating days of being in this industry?
I love what I do and I am pretty good at turning negative energy into motivation. If someone tells me I can’t do something or doubts me then to me that is fuel to go on and succeed and prove them wrong. There are tough times but for me it’s those frustrating and testing times that define you as a brand and a business and you have to come through them strong.
11. Biggest risk ever taken?
As clich้ as it sounds, starting Pathways Apparel is probably the biggest risk I’ve taken. I have put all of my savings into the business and have gone at it alone being pretty inexperienced in some areas. I have taken risks in life before but usually as a team or with other people, whereas with Pathways everything is on my head.
12. Who has influenced you most and been your greatest inspiration?
My mum has always been a huge inspiration to me, growing up we were always so close and she has supported me in whatever I’ve done throughout my life – she’s even offered to model for Pathways if we’re ever in need!
There are a bunch of brands that have inspired me too, I’ve followed and bought from small independent labels since I was in my early teens and have seen the success that they have had.
13. How do you go about marketing your business or yourself? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Social media and the internet has been our main and most successful form of marketing. Unfortunately, we’re working within a budget and can’t afford to splash out on fancy magazine ads etc! We use all the obvious social media’s which allow us to focus on our target audience.
As well as this, I spend a lot of time putting posters around Bristol, flyering at events and stickering anywhere and everywhere I go! We have also just started looking into sponsorships to get our brand name out there.
14. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
In 5 year’s I would love to have a large range of fully custom Pathways designs on the website and be a leading independent brand within the underground scene. I would like to be working with some top artists/sportspeople and be able to run Pathways full time.
In 10 years – more of the above and potentially my own store!
15. What’s the first thing you would say to the world if all attention was on you right now?
Aim High, and check out Pathways Apparel !
Official Website: www.pathwaysapparel.co.uk