I’m almost halfway through the exams (and I’m pleased to report that they’re so far so good) so am back on the (enjoyable) grind here at FatKidOnFire HQ presenting the next interview for your perusal. I have the utmost respect for the man who runs this brand – he’s one of the hardest workers in the scene, working crazy hours to keep his dreams afloat. More than admirable if you ask me…
Find out more after the jump
Self Gained Treasures is a small independent brand that’s releasing tees with designs based on the daily grind/ hustle/ hard work that we’re faced with during life. Definitely a concept we can all relate to! I’ve been keeping an eye on the guy who runs the brand for a long while and have finally got around to getting his thoughts down. I talked to Shannon, the one man powerhouse who does everything and effectively is Self Gained Treasures, to find out more…
Who / what is Self Gained Treasures? I suppose you could call Self Gained Treasures a tee ‘line’. I don’t like to consider this as a brand, or a clothing line. Not just yet anyway, but it is definitely going that way.
Part of my plan is to be integral to the people who support what SGT does; they will get to see and be part of the growth and progress of every step of the transition, basically seeing this go from nothing, to somthing.
I used the name Self Gained Treasures because it was the best way to say what I wanted to a few words. It basically means ‘treasure everything you have gained yourself’, not just talking about material things. It could be anything that means somthing to you, something that you consider a treasure.It’s basically a collection of thoughts, feelings and messages that’s inspired by hard workers; hustlers; people that don’t and won’t give up.
Your tees have strong, striking and memorable graphics, a lot of reference to hustlers and supporting independant brands – is there a definitive image for SGT or will it just be strong designs? A lot of these shirts were inspired by hustling; working hard and the good things in life – a lot of ideas come from things I have seen, heard, been through etc. Since we’ve been through this ‘reccession’ recently, I feel that more people can relate to a lot of the messages that are on the shirts at this moment in time. Right now, more and more people are wanting to work for themselves and make their own money – and be bosses rather then workers.
There are many other ideas and pieces that are in the works right now.. Pieces that are not about hustling, money, grinding etc – that are more subtle. It’s just not the right time to drop them now, everything has its time and place. I’d like to grab people’s attention first before I put certain things out.
What does / will make your brand stand out and distinguish itself from the rest of the UK streetwear pack? Like I mentioned before, since I don’t technically consider myself as a brand right now, the fact that those who are supporting, following from these early stages will get to see the changes that are made over the months and years. There’s also the fact that I try to keep on a level with everyone who shows any interest/ love/ attention in what I am doing. I’m no different or better then anyone else out there, so I won’t act it.
I will always try my best to support and appreciate those who support what I am doing, that’s how the loyalty card idea came about. I’d like to reward the people that support SGT.
Who or what influences you in your work? All my life i have been around people that hustle, all kinds of things, you name it, I probably have been around it, but when you say hustle to somone, most people will automatically think of some kind of crime or scam or somthing bad. Everything in life can be a hustle. Single parents working hard to provide for their children is a hustle, Doing your 9 to 5 is a hustle, getting up early making the hour or 2 trip to and from uni is a hustle, grinding ‘till you cant keep your eyes open any more,doing somthing that will better yourself and those around you, just to make things better for yourself and those you care about or close to you.
‘You get good things (treasures) by putting in hard work; hard work is hustling’
What’s your take on the whole UK streetwear scene at the moment? At the moment, the whole scene is growing at a really steady pace. I think that’s down to the internet for the most part – Myspace, Facebook and more recently Twitter. People can find clothing they would never have even seen or heard about just by clicking a few buttons. Blogs and online magazines etc are also giving attention to brands, there’s good coverage. Blogs like FatKidOnFire, who live and breathe clothing/streetwear, putting the word out for potentially hundreds, thousands of people to see [hell yeah! We’re not quite hundreds of thousands yet, but most definitely thousands].
Before I even got into doing this – I used to pay close attention to a few of the brands that are still out and growing now. For example Benjart – I remember when I used to see some of his first tees (the B splash ones) on Myspace back in the day. I have only just touched base with him a few months ago, but I have watched how his brand has grown and how his following has continued to grow and grow.
Many ‘brands’ have come and gone in a short amount of time. Many people seem to think this is a easy thing to do. Yeah, it’s not the hardest thing in the word to have the idea but it is damn hard to keep running, to keep relevant and put in the hard work of networking; getting your name about; getting your pieces seen etc. A lot of it is trial and error, especially if you are new to this, as you have to find out many things out for yourself. No two peoples’ story will be the same in this game – it takes time to get anywhere.
One thing I think that needs attention put on is that there is also a whole load of brands/people OUTSIDE of London. I know London is the capital and all eyes on the big city and all that, but I do feel that some attention shold be paid in other areas. There is a lot of talent all over the UK.
Where do you see you and SGT being in 5 years time ? 5 years time sounds like a long time but I’m sure it will fly by. Hopefully SGT will still be running strong. It wouldn’t even have to be a massive brand, I would be happy to have a nice small following so I could do very small number drops – keeping them very limited and special to whoever gets them.
With regards to me – I want to be living happy and healthy. I probably will still be printing though, (I provide a print service, some work can be seen here). I’ve been established 2 years so I can definitely see a few more years down the line.
Blok Clothing in Northampton will have the new stuff for summer. With the power of the internet I have had interest from a few international places – in Houston and Canada although nothing is finalised right now.
As I’m UK-based I would love to have a few UK stores stocking so if any stores are reading this, please feel free to contact me!
Top 5 favorite albums ? It’s hard to do this because I listen to so much music, but a few albums I can play pretty much the whole thing of and not be bored, in no particular order;
- Z-ro – The Life of Joseph McVey
- Big Moe – City of Cyrup
- Ghostface – The Pretty Tony Story
- Paul Wall & Chamillionaire – Get Your Mind Correct
- Outkast – Aquemini
- DMX – It’s Dark & Hell Is Hot
- Micheal jackson – Bad
Music is a whole other lane for me. Could go on for ever… I’ll stop before I go OTT!
Shoutouts This is actually going to be long.
First off I’m going to shout out my girl. She has been a big supporter in a lot of the things I have done over the last couple of years and has to listen/ put up with me blabbing on about the same thing over and over again.
Shouts to anyone and everyone who has ever shown any sort of interest and support to me, or any of the ideas, even anything I have ever done, it’s appreciated.
Shoutouts to anyone trying to make somthing positive happen. Also to everyone who never helped, let me down, doubted, talked down and said that something couldnt be done – without those thoughts, I or anyone else with a strong mind wouldn’t be able to carry on and make these kind of moves. [Big words – very true though. Big up all the haters!]
ALL the brands and people that I have spoken to over the years. Some great minds I know, met and have worked with. Sher Sher @ Funkey Flash Back, F2D Clothing, Soap-Box World, DBD Clothing, Lyrics 4 Lyrics, Benjart, Villainous Visard, Team Why Me, Dirrtee, Ask Your Girl, Era22, The Southern Hospitality crew, Houston Wok, Jimmy Boi, Dark Boi and Tony Black.
Shouts to Joleon (davenue), Paul Wall and Nique (grit boys), for holding me down through some madness times over the years.
And of course FatKidOnFire for the oppertunity for this chat. Like I keep telling you, I sense good things for you in the future. I don’t know why, but mark my words. [Nicest shoutout so far, feeling the love!]
Not only is Shannon keeping Self Gained running and designing some cool tees (the Get Doe is a personal favourite and hangs in my wardrobe), he’s also running the custom tee printing service. If you ever need tees, crews, hoodies etc you now know where to turn! If you’ve got as much respect for Shannon and SGT as I do after reading what he’s had to say please hit him up via the either of the Self Gained Facebook or Twitter accounts. It’s always good to get positive feedback!
Sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’m back for good (whether you like it or not) in 8 days