Heart on their sleeves
Erik Sudderth is a well-known disc jockey who is taking the world by storm with a simple phrase.
The clothing line, which was started in November 2012, has taken off to the point that you can see it in the Triad and Atlanta areas, and find it in music, television and athletics.
Sudderth, a High Point native and T. Wingate Andrews High School alum, is a disc jockey for award-winning artist 2 Chainz.
The 25-year-old said he always knew he would do something with music, but a clothing brand caught him off guard.
“I have always been real heavy into music. I started deejaying in high school, but that was mostly throwing parties and playing music,” Sudderth said. “I started getting serious about it when I graduated. I went to 102 Jamz and kicked it with Waleed Coyote and DJ Reflection to learn more of the business aspect of it.”
Sudderth went on to deejay at N.C. Agricultural and Technical University and performed at area clubs. He eventually was signed with Atlanta-based Street Execs, where he hooked up with 2 Chainz.
“I did it by just being down in Atlanta and networking with the right people, and doing the right jobs while I was in Atlanta helped the right people see the work, recognize the work and appreciated the work,” Sudderth said. “Once the time was right, they took me on the road with him, and we have been rocking ever since.”
Now he is taking what was once a mixtape and bringing the idea of No Stress to everyday life.
“No Stress really started as a mixtape series that I used to do,” Sudderth said. “I always used to tweet and post as my Facebook status ‘No Stress.’ The more and more I would Tweet it, the more people would re-tweet. Different people would come to me with their stories and their definitions of ‘No Stress.’ In November, I got a design put together, wore a shirt and Instagramed it, and everybody was like, ‘I want one.’”
He has enlisted the help of some of his classmates and family — Chris Noel, Erick Robinson, Garrett Kerr and Andrew Steed — to help him manage what has become less of an idea and more of a new business venture.
“Without a team, it’s nothing,” Sudderth said. “It’s all about the team. You are only as strong as your team.”
Noel said the response received from the shirts is amazing.
“We got together to brainstorm different ideas and ways to market it,” Noel said. “We have put pictures up of people or ourselves wearing the shirts. They are embracing it and put their own twist to the shirt and how they are living No Stress.”
No Stress has become more than a brand. It’s more of a lifestyle for some.
“No matter what you’re doing, whether it’s working a 9 to 5, running a business, it’s a way of remembering to not let get anything get to you while you strive for the future,” Noel said. “Right now, it’s something people are living by, and people really seem to embrace it.”
“Whatever the phrase means to them in their life. People support this because it is an expression, but at the same time motivation,” Sudderth said.
As for what’s next for Sudderth and friends, only the future will tell, but the guys aren’t going to stress about it.
“I say the sky is the limit, and it could become a global brand,” Noel said. “There is no limit with what we could do with it.”
Sudderth plans to take the brand further and already is preparing a line for the July Fourth holiday.
“When folk are interested in something, you have to keep new ideas, new colors and designs coming,” Sudderth said. “We have new summer designs and things for children as well. We are going to focus on the website right now. We have a few new designs for the summer to look forward to, we have a new color scheme for July Fourth coming up. We are even going to do some events for the community, but we will release those dates later. We are growing. We are taking it step by step. We want this to be something that is long living.”
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