Speaking of #Ypreneurs who were inspired and in turn are constantly inspiring others, @The Y Life takes us to Seal Beach, California where two Y’s, namely Jordan Brown and Jesse Williams run their apparel company, Aldapa Apparel. These two young men house their offices from an Orange County Church and use their positive esteem to influence the designs that have made Aldapa a chic’ good- willed sensation!
You see, Aldapa is not your run of the mill clothing- line, this is an apparel company that’s sells goods and gives back to communities all across the United States. We sat down for a chat with co-owner Jordan Brown, who explained that he was inspired by his grandfather and great-grandfather who worked in the city of Los Angeles, “I sat back and was like what is the one thing that embodies people, family, community and working hard, and that was my great-grandfather and grandfather.” Brown wanted to pay homage to their love of family and to help others, so he named the line, Aldapa after them.
“We tied looking good and doing good together in one action… this is a label that is doing something positive, nobody wants to feel like a billboard and I hear that from people, people are buying it because it’s there; but if we all come together and start thinking differently we can all change the world, as corny as that sounds, but we can literally help people and change the way people think!”
So I asked Brown how he first got the get one, give one idea… “I had a friend dropp off to me the book ‘Start Something That Matters’ from the man who created TOMS shoes… I got the idea to do an apparel line that captures everything I’m about and I want to give back, so for every shirt that we sell we are going to donate a shirt, kind of that one-for-one motto.”
Williams, the co-founder of the company, took a major role in creating all of the incredible designs you see strewn on the apparel. Brown notes the inspiration that took hold of Williams who prides himself on the feeling he gets from designing the shirts, “I think he was trying to keep in mind, the younger generation, the surf culture of Southern California, mixed with the art scene of Long Beach, California and all of that came into one brand, which has been really difficult, but we have succeeded so far.”
Having lived many years in California I agree with Brown and Williams that there is a certain effervescence in the chic lifestyle, that all who spend time there become embodied with, where T-shirts and Jeans can be appropriate attire for any occasion.
Brown and Williams wanted to start a company that everyone could wear and with that started the ‘Aldapa Life’ movement that also includes collective activities, like beach clean-ups to help the community, you see “Aldapa life is basically the idea of doing something you love, having fun, going out and being a part of something; but, make sure you are actually impacting others. I feel that anyone can be a part of Aldapa Life, if you buy a shirt from us, you are a part of the culture that we’re creating and that is Aldapa Life.
When I asked Brown, why they had chosen The American Red Cross, he explained. “I see so many people struggling right here in America, I just felt it was necessary to give back to America. The cool thing about giving our shirts to The American Red Cross is that they give us outlets to be able to donate wherever we want, with so many chapters around America. Because when something goes wrong, American Red Cross is always the first people there.”