BY: EINAR SEVILLA
California has an 8.7 percent unemployment rate according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and students aren’t guaranteed employment after graduation from college. This has led people to start generating their own jobs by establishing their own businesses rather than waiting to be hired by one—especially in the fashion industry.
Pink Dolphin started as a small company and has turned into a hip-hop fashion icon. The Bay Area-based clothing brand made its name by creating clothes that challenge gender assigned colors and making limited quantities of all their products.
Despite having flagship stores in the fashion capitals on Fairfax and San Francisco’s Haight Street, Pink Dolphin still relies heavily on Internet marketing.
“The idea is that the Internet can aggregate small markets in one place so that what was formerly too small of a niche for a local retailer can reach a large enough audience to make a business work,” CSULB marketing professor Mary Celsi said.
Opening a storefront is a risky move for any small business, and clothing brands can go down as quickly as they’ve come up.
This is why Seal Beach native Jaime Lozoya decided to start his clothing business, EEZY Supplies, online; he doesn’t have the capital, resources, time or manpower to create a store.
Lozoya crafted EEZY Supplies in 2012 in an attempt to put his own spin on how clothes should be made and start his own clothing empire. The EEZY Supplies website states, “We bring style to the outdoors, while creating limited quantity products that last. Simplicity is the EEZY life.”
The company tries to pull away from the activewear and streetwear fad and attempts to mix outdoor clothing with fashion.
“I can make it; I have the passion. I have the designs,” Lozoya said. “I want to do it and I want to supply something for a good price that people are down for.”
He said that he was inspired to create EEZY Supplies when he was in high school shopping for clothes that he felt were too expensive for the quality of product offered.
Lozoya wants his clothes to not only be worn on the street for fashion, but he wants people to be able to use EEZY Supplies to go camping, fishing and other outdoor activities.
EEZY Supplies is now also featured in Harbour Surfboards in Seal Beach. Lozoya’s goal is to have his products showcased in two additional stores every year while still relying heavily on Internet sales.
“The Internet gives people who want to start a small business a greater opportunity and chance of succeeding than they might otherwise have had without it,” said Scott Flexo of the Long Beach Small Business Monitor.
Flexo found that 89 percent of small businesses of fewer than 50 people (with the average of nine) have a website.
The Internet allows small companies to utilize guerilla marketing, which is unconventional and low-cost marketing designed to create maximum exposure for a product.
Lozoya said he always fears putting out a new product because there is a possibility that the product will flop and he’ll be left with unsold items. However, he added that there is no better feeling than walking down the street and seeing someone wear his clothing because it makes all his hard work and effort worth it.
Like many other small clothing companies, Lozoya uses bigcartel.com because it allows users to create a simple and cheap website that permits online transactions.
All EEZY Supplies’ clothes are designed by Lozoya and locally manufactured by Long Beach Graphics.
EEZY Supplies currently makes hats, shirts, sweaters, accessories and stickers, but Lozoya wants to expand to jackets, pants and outdoor supplies.
The EEZY Supplies Spring 2014 line was released at the end of February.
For more information visit eezysupplies.bigcartel.com or visit them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.