We had the good fortune of connecting with Trice “Zion” Smith-Hampton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Trice “Zion”, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Sometime I describe Unbossed as a “foot on your neck” t-shirt brand. I can call it that because we are a brand that is unafraid to speak on the things that affect our community whether it be good or controversial. My purpose to provide a voice in the form of a t-shirt. I love all people. I don’t dislike white people or the police because everyone isn’t racist, prejudice, or corrupt. But we are not going to tip toe and ignore the issues my community is facing for people who claim to not be a part of the problem but yet are mute. We don’t need silent allies. My goal as a business it that whether you’re more Malcom or more Martin we are still providing a way to speak loud and clear without having to verbally say a word.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
UnBossed Apparel is a black woman owned socially conscious lifestyle brand. We specialize in raw unfiltered statement t-shirts. Our brand name is inspired by Shirley Chisholm’s mantra “Unbossed and Unbought”. Shirley Chisholm was an independent, outspoken, advocate for marginalized groups and liberal causes. We have brought those same attributes to life in the form of a t-shirt brand. Our brand mission is to empower, educate, and provide a channel for your voice to be heard loud and clear through unfiltered t-shirt messages.
Our rawness is what sets us apart from other brands and that’s what i’m most proud of. We’re small so we have a long way to go. The biggest issue has been visibility. There are so many dope t-shirt brands out here. Many of them have bigger budgets and larger follower communities. We have to find creative ways to increase visibility while working with a small budget. We have to work to build our own community and gain trust. It doesn’t happen overnight but the key is consistency and providing good customer experiences. It’s all about creating your own lane in this business. What I would like people to know about me and the brand is that we don’t want to play by the rules and be a nice little cookie cutter tshirt company. Some companies shy away from tackling offensive, controversial, and political issues. No, we are an in your face t-shirt brand that is unafraid to speak on things that affect our community whether it be good or controversial. We want to provide a channel for the voices of our customers to be heard loud and clear through our t-shirts.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh goodness. I’m such a homebody so I don’t get out much. I live to eat so food would be the focus lol. We would go to my favorite brunch spot Another Broken Egg. My favorite seafood spot Cajun Seafood house would have to be in the mix somewhere, We have really great food trucks here so Woed my favorite food truck would be a stop. We would have to go to Plum Bar one night to hear some dope live music. Chasers is my hole in the wall spot for great throwback 90s and early 20s hip hop and r&b. They have GREAT food as well. Courtyard would be another stop for good drinks, food, and karaoke.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I just want to shout out my family and friends who have supported the brand and have spoken life over my business. I also want to shoutout fellow t-shirt brand sisters who we have developed a camaraderie with. There is always strength in numbers.
EJ Glenn Photography