Sixth grade. I was working on a project for my history class, painting a model for an upcoming presentation. A glob of paint falls from my paint brush and onto a pair of play shoes that were below my desk. When I picked up the shoe to assess the damage, something happened.
That moment was the beginning of T-DUB Customs.
After that day I began to learn more about the world of sneaker customization. I was no stranger to the idea, having owned a number of airbrushed tees from fairs and festivals. Customization is what We do. But seeing art on sneakers was a game changer for lil ol me. I started practicing with the little bit of supplies I had. Learning how the paint can flex, or crack, on the varying canvas that is a sneaker.
Up until high school customizing was just a hobby. Then my classmates found out about my skill and started paying me to spice up there fits for school dances and events. This was my first taste at what business as a "customizer" could be. A lasting impression.
High school. College. Came home, worked 9-5's unhappy. I had to put my skill aside to focus on school and work. I was starved for creativity. So in 2014 I took a leap of faith. I left my job and started making T-DUB a real thing. I was living at my moms at the time, my number one supporter, and it was in her living room I started taking my first orders. After a year of re- honing my skills, and setting up at local vendor markets to get my name out there in the city, hand painting t-shirts live for folks to see! I made it official. And in 2016, T-DUB Customs was born.
Since then, I've been featured at a number of vendor markets, done hundreds of custom orders from sneakers to skates to jeans to theater backdrops. When I say "you name it, I paint it" i mean that. My joy is bringing my customers visions to life, providing an avenue for us to revitalize old clothes sitting in our closets with nowhere to go. But we know where they cant go, the landfill.
The amount of textile waste we produce, in our attempts to be fashionable, is killing our planet. There is no way around this fact, our only option is for all of us to act in the opposite direction in as many ways as possible. I feel turning old clothes into something new through customization is one of many ways to slow the damages of fast fashion on our planet. And customization exercises the creative parts of the brain we all need to be using to make this world a better place.