Do you remember the days when you would get uncontrollably excited about your first goal, score, or touch down? Maybe it was winning that all important game that pushed your team forward to make States? What about the high school and college rivalries that still exist to this day?
There really is something special about being competitive and representing your team or city. It’s those candid moments that come with winning that gives you such an adrenaline rush; you can’t help but innately showcase your excitement any way you can. In this case, something as simple as throwing up a 3 and a 2 was all that was needed to spark a movement.
I got in touch with the brand manager for a West Virginia based clothing company called 3 Up 2 Up, a brand that cleverly uses hand symbols to capture the state’s initials. With the brand’s creators coming from highly competitive backgrounds, having both played at the collegiate level, the message behind their clothing couldn’t be more applicable.
Over our call discussing in depth about the brands creation, I got to learn more about the premise behind the logo and what it was supporting. Unfortunately, West Virginia has had its share of negative connotations from people who’ve never experienced the state outside of conversations.
A state with a population of about 2 million, 3 Up 2 Up looks to break the stereotypes associated with West Virginia and continue to push a logo that has stayed with them since grade school. The owners say they relentlessly strive to positively light up their “Mountain State,” encouraging all people to Transcend Your Environment.
3 UP 2 UP – Substance + Style (Coal Heritage Trail) pic.twitter.com/DPdD4z1Tt1
— TheReal3Up2Up (@TheReal3up2up) September 30, 2016
Explain to us your story and the motivation behind your clothing line?
We are passionate about our state and who we are as West Virginians. West Virginia helped further the industrialization of America with our bituminous coal. We send a large amount of coal and other goods to powerhouses like China because they don’t have the resources to sustain their growing population. Canada is also one of our biggest exports.
We were reppin’ 3 Up 2 Up in high school by throwing up the hand symbols that depict our state’s initials in a creative fashion. Marcel Myers first threw up our “Palms-Out” hand symbols which we later copyrighted. Most people in our brand were top athletes and/or leaders in the state, which is where we get our competitive edge. People knew 3 Up 2 Up from guys playing sports, especially when Craig Ponder came through dropping 56 points in high school.
We sold shirts in high school, and from there we knew we wanted to do more with the brand. We don’t have many young entrepreneurs coming from our city or state of West Virginia. Challenging the status quo is what motivates guys on our team like Daniel Wells and Jevon Carpenter – who will be business owners sooner than later.
What do you hope consumers will gain in supporting this cause?
We understand our audience is West Virginia and we hope they gain top quality apparel, but more importantly, we want consumers to have a sense of pride and dignity from where they are from. Everybody that is a part of our brand is college educated, which isn’t everything today; however, it is extremely important for future generations. Our brand is more personal and you can have that connection with us being from West Virginia.
Are there any opportunities you’re providing to self-starters like yourself?
We allow people to gain real world experience. We have an ambassador program to help increase brand awareness for us. We’re looking for individuals that have a talent of sorts so they can showcase their own talents while being beneficial to our brand as well.
What are you hoping to do for the state of West Virginia?
We hope to create a broader narrative of our state that transcends the associated stereotypes.
What is your advice for someone pursuing their own dreams?
Put it down on paper, take the actionable steps to make those dreams come to fruition, and most importantly don’t be afraid to ask for help. After all of that, you have to have the ambition to execute your game-plan.
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