We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamaal Gooden and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jamaal, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I originally started my business in high school because I was tired of trying to fit in. Mainly, because I either didn’t like or couldn’t afford to wear the clothes or shoes that were popular at my school. I started out by customizing clothes I already had. It was there I grew a passion for fashion and slowly built an affinity for clothes. I continued my business as just a hobby throughout my college years. After graduating, I fell on hard times an unfortunately became homeless. I restarted my business that same year on faith, which has changed my life completely. I am now focus on building this brand full time.
The name which has even more meaning now is HOMETEAM. Based on my stint with homelessness and the lack of pride I felt that Virginia lacked as a whole, inspired me to create my brand, HOMETEAM. The message is simply that we all call Earth home and we’re all in this together as a team. I want people to be proud of wherever they’re from and encourage others to make positive impacts within their own communities.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What sets me apart from other business, is my timeless creativity. I’m multi-passionate creative so I always get excited about making things, whether it be making new design for a t-shirt, to trying to create new sounds and genres. Something I’m most proud of is in 2018, I made a mashup that included artists Drake and H.E.R. that went viral. That same year, H.E.R. wore and iconic piece from my brand during her performance in my home state of VA. It was a total full circle moment for me. Although I will cherish that moment forever. I fell on hard times shortly after. I ended up rooming with a friend who was going through a hard time which subsequently affected me. In Summer of 2019, I got evicted from my apartment with student loan payments over my head. With no other place to turn to make money, I relaunched my brand. I was able to use other peoples’s money to start it back up and ever since then, it’s continued to grow and save my life. Ever year is full of lessons but 2019 was a defining time in my life. I learned that no matter what is going on around you, keep faith and a steady heart. You can overcome anything. I want my brand, my life, and my story to inspire someone out there that’s on the verge of giving up.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite place in Virginia over the last few year is the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The Oceanfront Boardwalk has everything you need to get the good vibes going. It’s the perfect relaxation location with clubs, bars, shopping, and of course the beach. People say Virginia is boring all the time, but there is plenty to do across the whole state. Shortly north of the beach, is the world famous Bush Gardens and Waterpark. People come from all over the country to visit since there are only 2 in the entire country. It’s easy to fall in love down here. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Everyone who’s reading this deserves credit. Anyone who has ever supported me deserves credit. I would not be here with the support I’ve received from my community and for that I know I’m blessed.
Facebook: Jamaal Gooden