We chat with Okoto Apparel

WEBSITE: okoto.com

So let’s start out by giving us a little background on yourself and what you do at OKOTO!

There’s two things I have always loved since I was a little kid … art and being outside. As I grew up, I’ve always stayed active in the elements, trying to see as much of the world as I could. From life guarding at the Jersey Shore to living in a tree house in St. John, I’ve traveled all around the globe, just to be inspired … and that inspiration has always showed in my art.

So aside from founding OKOTO, I am also the Creative Director and Head Designer.

For those not familiar with the OKOTO brand how would you describe yourselves?

We consider ourselves to be a brand that truly cares, not just about our customers, but also the way our work affects the world. We spend a lot of energy trying to make sure we not only provide high quality products to our customers, but the knowledge that together we are all part of something greater.

So what made you want to start a clothing line?

Well, OKOTO originated as my custom surfboard shaping company. But, one winter stay in Rincon, PR, my girlfriend, Amy, threw the idea out there that I should expand my art into the apparel industry. I didn’t put too much thought into it until she bought my first silkscreen kit and some blank tees.

Could you tell us a little bit some of the challenges you had come across starting OKOTO?

Being that I had no prior experience in this medium, a lot of time and energy went into researching how to get not only the highest quality tee shirts, but also how to print like a pro. Tons of mistakes later, here we are.

What do you feel makes OKOTO stick out among the crowd?

For one, the majority of our designs are hand drawn. That provides a style that is much unlike everything else out there. It’s also important to us that our brand is one that lives on for some time … not only staying up on trends, but also leaving a positive impact in the world.

The summer is definitely the time for festivals, have you guys attended any
festivals? If so which ones and how do you feel they impact your business?

We hosted an art and music festival last summer to raise money for SurfAid International, and it turned out to be their largest East Coast fundraiser to date.

We have other such festivals in the works, but most recently did Bamboozle out here on the East Coast. Being in the midst of such positive energy really helps fuel a business. It gets you stoked on the next strong move you want to make. Plus, it’s a great way to get an influx of sales and advertise at the same time.

What does the future hold for OKOTO?

Hopefully tons of great things. For now, we are in the midst of expanding our OKOTOrelief program into something very unique. It plays strong on our mission to keep all our work inspiring and positive.

Do you have any advice for upcoming brands?

Just know that pursuing something you genuinely care about takes time and dedication. There’s always going to be challenges and walls you have to overcome. But, if it’s something you really believe in, keep pressing on and you’ll get there. That goes, really, for anything in life.

Are there any sales or coupon codes that our readers should know about? (if not i will leave this out)

Yes. Hit up OKOTO.com and use the coupon code THETREND and receive 20% off your order until September 1st. After that, the same code will get you 10% off your purchase until September 1st 2010. Offers do not include Sale, Clearance or 6minus items.

And last but not least who is your favorite super hero?

Superman. Cause like every other guy my age, I also wore the pajamas, red cape and attempted to jump off my clubhouse roof when I was a kid.