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Tubular…kinda

I am not a fan of hollow promises.

“I’ll work on that….”

“I’ll get back to you….”

“We’ve got 40 acres and a mule for your sacrifices….”

You know?

I released the B piece not long after B did her thing at the Super Bowl and pissed part of the world off. I presented shirts and foil prints. Not the debut of my foil prints but this particular post drew enough attention to make me take a step back and truly consider this product I treat as a novelty.

I told the people I would figure out how to make these prints something more than a point of purchase offering. <—Enter opportunity for hollow promise.

I did a little research and found out I was looking in the wrong place for mailing tubes every time I searched prior. I not only found great tutorials on how to safely ship prints but also several sources for inexpensive mailing tube options. One option won me over immediately.

I chose to rock w/ the triangle mailing tubes because they ship flat to me. From the gate, that saves me money on the shipping side. Cyclinders would have taken up more space, amounting in a bigger shipping box and a higher rate. The next upside is receiving them flat gives me the opportunity to print on them. Important for branding. On a cylinder I would only be able to add a sticker. On a triangle, I can print my preexisting branding elements but I also get the option to add triangle stickers to the caps to style on the oglers a bit. Also, they’re triangles. I love triangles.

On the shipping side, they cost 65% less than what I was coming across at first and they don’t rollover on conveyors which makes it easier for the workers actually handling them during shipping.

First order will go out tomorrow. Anyone interested in foil prints delivered should thank Alexandria Eddings ( who is no pushover w/ this graphic design thing ) for not just talking about it but being about it and placing her order. It forced my hand (both of them actually) and here we are. <— Exit opportunity for hollow promise. Enjoy the sensation of follow through and achievement.

Print listings coming soon (like right after I pick my Daughter up from Day Care). #UHURU

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Client Science #3: Scoota Habib

If you know a little something about me, you know I’m an MC. If you don’t know much about Hip Hop, you may think that’s a Rapper. That would be the equivalent of comparing a Power Walker to an Olympic Runner. No disrespect to the power walkers. If you know me know me, you know I come from a group called Ahbseen Kwestions (which happens to be my IG username and Twitter handle, although I don’t deal with that bird directly anymore). My rap partner/comrade is Scoota Habibeaux aka Trife Selassie of Newark Fame.

Whereas I scaled back my musical productions to get deeper into the design/print field, Habibeaux went into a higher gear. Linking his Physical Brother, Elespee’s, New Orleans based Music Group, Guerilla Publishing with NY based Record Label, Bartleby Records, has produced a new brand in the form of GPNYC.

As not only an artist on the roster but also as an Executive within the company, Habibeaux has continued to carry the AK flag on into the future while upholding our standard of excellence and our propensity for conceptualization and creativity. On songs like On Entry (Ode To Dres) he effortlessly but methodically tears through his ode to Black Sheep MC, Dres, over the original guitar loop to their classic, Black With NV.

I am actually featured on Habibeaux’s recent release, Aftanoons, on a song aptly titled, Illustrator Music. Peep the verses. No flexing. We’re both true and living designers and Illustrators. It’s part of our culture.

After doing some design work for GPNYC, I was offered a slot to complete a full length music project through them. It will most likely be something for Stolen Outfitters. Stay tuned for that.

Habibeaux placed an order with me for a She-thiopian Warri-her, red on black. I sent him a JK and a Log Off on the strength. I know they will be well represented.

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Client Science #2: Brother Vital

As a parent, you may find yourself spending a lot of time around moon bounces and inflatable castles filled with children working the sugar out of their systems flipping about and testing their healing factors by landing on each other. On a pleasant Saturday, I found myself in a 45% vacant mall (The Plaza on Reisterstown Rd) at their bouncing situation. We were 3 families deep. 6 kids and 6 adults. While manning my Daughter’s carriage and tracking my Sun through the chaos, I got into an interesting build with a good Brother and close friend of our family, Cleeford Vital. We spoke about Child Support, custody and how the courts ultimately separate families and create situations where the role of Fathers are severely limited. A couple of the other Brothers within earshot added on. After that conversation eased up, Brother Vital commented about my shirt. He recognized the Olmec head. I explained that it was from a line I was developing for Stolen called Old Headz and the particular design I was wearing was called a Soulmec. Months later, he ordered a hoody and a t-shirt with the Soulmec on both.

I am featuring Brother Vital not only for being a good Father, Friend and reference for stability and level headedness but also because he is one of the few clients who used Stolen’s Instagram feed to order an unreleased product. To date, he is the only person with a charcoal Soulmec Hoody. I don’t even have one.

Thank you for your support Brother Vital!

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Client Science #1: The Best Family

Since our humble stumble on to the scene we have garnered interest from people of all types. We can’t honestly say we expected any particular demographic to embrace our works more than another but we did forge the business with filling a void in mind. We wanted to design and print garments that family could be comfortable wearing around family. We wanted to produce wears that seam generations together instead of sequestering them. The Proud Unit Series was originally going to be outsourced but it ultimately led up to us purchasing the screen printing equipment and bringing the business completely in-house. That’s where the family is right?

Since the first shirts were printed from the shop one family has shown continuous support and extended supreme understanding in regards to our growing pains as a young business. A young Black Business. That family is The Bests.

They single handedly inspired the North Port color way for The Proud Mom Degree and encouraged the production of The Proud Grad Degree shirt (will be uploaded soon). The Husband and Wife give Stolen as gifts. They reach out to me regularly to see what’s new and – unbeknownst to them– that always happens at a time when I can use that encouragement.

There was an issue with a shirt they ordered and I agreed to replace it. I admittedly took way too long to rectify that situation. They didn’t hire an assassin to come take me out. They kept it mature and classy. For that I love them and was proud to send out their package yesterday. Needless to say, there were extra goodies in the box acting as my million apologies.

This post is a salute to them and the support they give us. You are appreciated.

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