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Meet Jared Thomas of Empire in Mesquite

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jared Thomas.

Jared, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m originally from East Texas from a town called Tenaha. It has a population of 1100 people and the shortest highway in Texas. I graduated in a class of 17 students. Although resources were limited and exposure to mainstream fashion was non-existent, I early on developed a love for fashion. With a market so small and uninfluenced, I became comfortable with setting trends I would see from music videos and different magazines. Planning my inclusiveness in the fashion industry started with Empire Brims in 2011, Where I sold galaxy and other unique SnapBack hats. This went on for awhile and did well until I transitioned into transportation in 2014, which is what I have been doing up until about two years ago. When me moving to Dallas reignited my intrigue for fashion, I then plotted to develop a brand. I was out of town meeting with a brand developer in LA when my trip was extended a few extra days due to scheduling issues etc.

During this time, I visited every spot in LA, drawing inspiration. After finally meeting and putting together a plan, I traveled back to Dallas, where I was greeted by my then-new reality. I had lost everything in my apartment. I was left with a few miscellaneous items I had in my car and the clothes I had on at the time. From that point, my focus shifted from a brand to building an EMPIRE. So I devised a plan and Empire was created. Although it’s still ways to go for my vision to be complete, this serves as a great starting point.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road hasn’t always been smooth but I never stop highlight any of my shortcomings, for they are expected on the Journey of life. I learned early on in life that anything worth having was going to come at a cost. But being human and self-aware, a fish is supposed to swim as well as humans are supposed to be able to overcome adversity and setbacks.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Empire – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Empire is an all-inclusive Entity. The Motto of the Empire is WE>ME. We really value the opportunity we have to allow our platform to be starting points and leaping pads for other brands that may be lacking exposure or the right situation to excel. That gives us Great Pride because there’s nothing greater than humanity and the opportunity to give back and allow homegrown designers into the forefront of their hometown. That approach and humility is what separates EMPIRE from any other urban clothing retailer.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plan is to sustain the mission of the WE>ME CONCEPT allowing homegrown brands to platform and grow via Empire. Also, to continue to lay a solid foundation so that the entity can transition into a franchise-able business model.

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