FLINT, Michigan -- Taking risks comes natural to Rashad Stclair, and it has allowed him to push his apparel brand further than he ever expected. For a brand that represents Flint’s northside, though, succeeding against difficult expectations is actually a great way to pay homage to the community and represent the true culture of Flint.
“2017, I got it wrapped up in my head I was gonna come back home,” Stclair said. His brand just received recognition from notable figures and began to make more t-shirt sales in Houston. From there, Stclair decided to start making major decisions for “The North Flint.”
From 2005 to 2017, Stclair moved around different states and worked a variety of jobs while keeping his brand afloat. To provide for himself and invest money into The North Flint, he picked up work at a grocery store, a government agency, and a mental institution.
“After that flourish in Houston, I saw the attention it started receiving in Flint. It got so high demand to the point where I couldn’t get them to everybody,” he said.
Since then, Stclair had a vision to evolve The North Flint and expand from being known only as a t-shirt business.
“It got to a point where I had to get my own place of business. I got tired of doing stuff on the go, mobile,” Stclair said. “Mobile is cool, but you need brick-and-mortar. So, in 2018 I started The North Flint as an S Corp.”
During his life, Stclair has enjoyed being creative with each of his ideas. His creativity mashed with his love for his hometown to birth the brand.
“With the water situation, we needed a brand,” said Stclair. “I love the city; I love where I’m from. We just needed something unique, fresh and dope. When I saw ‘The North Face’ logo, I saw Flint right there.”
With the right connections to double check his revamp of the famous chain retailer logo, Stclair went to work to capture the true purpose of his brand and make it known to his community.
“You go to New York, they got the subway t-shirts with the trains to Brooklyn, to Manhattan or Harlem,” he said. “We didn’t have any representation for the city.”
After finding a way for his business, sacrificing, investing and coming back to Flint for good, Stclair can’t help but set his passion for Flint, first. And his brand, next.
“It wasn’t just about me. It’s about a community. That’s what the whole brand is about. The North Flint. I think a lot of people that start a brand and use city names as their brand, they don’t understand you’re representing your city, your community,” said Stclair. “My goal was to have a foundation.”
The North Flint headquarters is now located inside the Flushing Diplomat Center (G3500 Flushing Road, Unit 204, in Flint), but it took Stclair taking a chance to find the spot.
“While I was grinding and making money, I was finding property and somewhere I could rent out,” he said. “I was looking for two years since I got home. This was actually what I wanted. It had everything I wanted.”
Stclair has made a change to the original logo and is now working toward putting his brand in stores like Zumiez and other urban distributors.
For more information, follow The North Flint on Facebook or Instagram.