FLINT, Michigan — Flint native Chan Pearson, founder of Soulmate Apparel
, is on a mission to become the world's greatest clothing designer. His love for fashion started when he was just a young boy as his father often gifted him with fashion-forward streetwear brands such as Jordan, Polo, and Tommy Hilfiger. Dressing in the latest trends over time turned into a passion for Pearson as he knew that one day, he would start his own brand.
Fast-forward to 2022 and Soulmate is more than just a brand, “it’s a part of my soul.” The brand was established in 2019 with Pearson having a vision for worldwide success. While that may take some time, he understands the importance of hard work. As long as he keeps his head high, remains focused, and maintains faith and belief in his brand, he knows for a fact that one day, he will get there.
Although he isn’t on top yet, it doesn't stop his determination of building the makings of his empire right in his hometown. Flintside caught up with the rising fashion designer to talk about Soulmate Apparel, his struggles, and what he’s learned through it all.
Flintside: How did you come up with the name Soulmate and what motivated you to create the brand?
: "The idea was first for a shoe store. The name I had for the shoe store idea was kind of similar so I just combined the names together. Also, it's something I'm passionate about. I feel connected to my brand, it's a part of my soul."
Flintside: Do you see Soulmate becoming a major brand?
: "I definitely see Soulmate becoming a major brand someday. Right now, I'm just getting started so I just want to focus on the now. Who knows? Maybe I can get it in the hands of somebody that is popular, that way I can use their platform to help move it forward. I have a lot of big ideas that I believe will help turn it from local to the mainstream."
Flintside: The fashion industry can be a tough business with lots of ups and downs. How do you stay motivated through challenging times?
: "The biggest thing that keeps me motivated is my vision to see the bigger picture. You're right, there are a lot of ups and downs doing this. There were times when I was completely sold out. Then there are times when I make no sales at all. It's just about me having faith and believing in my brand. Having the time and patience to understand what a brand can be. Again, holding on to my faith and seeing the bigger picture."
Flintside: Most brands don't make it past the 5-year mark. Where do you see Soulmate being in the next 5 years?
: "In the next five years, I believe my brand will be up there in popularity. I plan on moving as well so I think that will help it grow. I also plan to get a better job and that way, I can invest more into it. Starting anything is risky, if you think small, you get small, think big, win big. I'm not worried about a five-year gap, Soulmate is gonna be around for years and years to come."
Flintside: Who is one person or company you would like to collaborate with?
"The one person I would have loved to work with is Virgil Abloh but it's unfortunate that he passed away. It would've been cool to just talk and pick his brain. I admired the work he did with Offwhite and I can see a lot of myself in him so that would've been cool."
Flintside: What is something you learned during the process of creating your brand?
: "The biggest thing I learned while creating this is you can't please everybody and everybody is not gonna like what you make. Somebody is always gonna have something to say whether it's good or bad so don't let that discourage you or stop you. What I make is not for everybody but as long as I get the majority of the people that do, I'll be okay. I always take time to reflect and see how I can improve and make the brand better. Most of all, stay true to me and I'll be okay."
To stay updated on Soulmate Apparel, visit the website and also find the brand on Instagram.