Philly Clothing Line Gets Kickstart, Works With Local Craftsmen

Philly Clothing Line Gets Kickstart, Works With Local Craftsmen

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PHILADELPHIA -

One young Philadelphia entrepreneur is getting a kickstart to launch his brand nationally and helping to drive the city's economy.

Fox 29's Meg Baker went shopping with Seun Olubodun at his new store, Duke & Winston, located in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia.

Sometimes all that stands between a person and his dream is a little cash. That was the case with Olubodun, who had an idea but not the resources to get it off the ground.

Introducing his English bulldog, Duke, as the inspiration for his clothing line, Duke & Winston, Olubodun says he started his brand with one T-shirt with Duke's face on it in 2009.

The initial launch of the hometown brand was funded by selling his car. But to begin to expand nationally, Olubodun turned to Kickstarter, a website that helps organize funding for startups.

Olubodun posted a video on the site, Duke included, and from there the idea took off.

"On the first day, we met 25 percent of our goal. By the second day, it was 50 percent. And within eight days, we raised the goal of $20,000, which is completely incredible. I freaked out," he said.

Without any experience, Duke & Winston has added hats, ties, sweatshirts and more to the casual yet preppy line.

"The whole point of the line is that it's really clean and simple," Olubodun said.

The nautical-themed goods are primarily produced locally in Pennsylvania, starting with a cotton mill in Lancaster, Amish country.

"My t-shirts are all printed in Port Richmond, the dog beds are sewn by an awesome factory in South Philly by a family that's been there for about 60 years," he said.

The hats are also the embroidered in South Philly, and the candles are made "literally right down the street in Fishtown," Olubodun said.

Working with local craftsman allows him to have his hand in everything.

"Why not work with other people that are local? That way we can see each other, I see the people that make my stuff almost every day," he explained.

Having lived in the neighborhood for over five years, Olubodun says "almost everyone who lives around here walks by my shop, and they come in, and a lot of them are like, 'Oh, wow, this is awesome. This is great for the neighborhood.'"

After exceeding his Kickstarter goal, Olubodun is planning on taking Duke & Winston national.

"The next goal is New York and L.A., and we have two trade shows in 2013," he said.

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