Clever Fools is a clothing company designed to meet the standards of comfort and quality. Owning a clothing brand has always been a vision for us (Lexi and Alex). Many influences have been from the west-coast and adventures we've experienced that can be shared with others.
Clever: quick to understand, learn, and devise or apply ideas; intelligent.
Fool: a person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person.
By feeling inspired to escape the everyday routines, we took a week long trip to the Rocky Mountains in July 2016. The Rocky Mountains are reasonably close to KC and filled with adventure. It was the first time being distant from everything that bothered us day to day. It opened our eyes to what we can accomplish. Clever Fools was built on the idea of doing foolish things, but applying the best ideas. So, we took our experience from the trip and made it into a simple, yet beautiful design. We found that our designs were not only unique but we also had a personal connection with them. You don't purchase an item if you don't like or can't relate to it.
When we thought of the name''CLEVER FOOLS" it was like our designs, it just clicked. We wanted a brand that was adventurous as well as giving an urban//street-wear feel. Something to wear in the streets but also something that can be dressed up. Alex coming from an artistic background had the idea of creative fools. That just didn't sound right to us, on the other hand Lexi had the smarts to control our foolish attitude. Clever came to mind from a synonym of creative. Once we heard that, we were like THATS IT!
As we saw progress with the mountain triangle logo, we continued and kept the ball rolling. Our next release was a learning lesson for both of us. The design barely sold and had a hard time appealing to our customers. There wasn't a special connection where we could say AH HA THAT'S IT. A simple idea of incorporating a west coast vibe of palm trees changed the game, we took another experience and turned it into a magnificent design. The palm tree designs came from our love of the coast. The midwest does not offer the same opportunities the shores can. When you look at the ocean, its endless just like our imaginations. We focus on the quality and simplicity of the designs rather than pushing out rushed work and hoping that our audience enjoys.
Clever Fools was seriously built off hundreds of hours of advertising, designing, youtube, and yelling at each other because we could never agree on something. We know something is great when we both agree on it. If doesn't connect between us, its trashed. Hundreds of designs have come to the spotlight by one another. It's almost as asking for approval from your mom lol. IT WASN'T EASY. There was so much trial and error in the beginning of Clever Fools. At times we thought, how do people even co-own a business with someone? How do people agree on everything to come to one conclusion? The biggest struggle we've had is trying to work together and COMPROMISE. Sometimes we have 2 completely different visions and we have to work together to make them a reality.
We started with a small budget and were a few months away from our first semester in college. We bought an inexpensive screen printing kit from a local craft store and printed t-shirts in a garage. We started selling to our closest friends and family through social media. Soon after we started receiving messages from people we barely knew asking for a shirt or two. Eventually we opened up an online store so that people from different states could order some as well. We soon noticed that we were getting orders from places HALFWAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY. Boston, California, Florida, Washington... we knew we were being talked about (in a good way lol). We were thrilled to know the brand was traveling nationally.
CLEVER FOOLS WOULD BE NOWHERE WITHOUT THE HELP OF FRIENDS
Some people believed in us and some did not. The beginning was all from the support of our friends and family. Emerging a brand is so difficult when there are thousands and thousands out there doing the same thing. People thought it was a short term idea, but showing them what we were capable of was the difficult part. There are people who wear our brand EVERYDAY. It is mind-blowing! Everyday they are reppin' a brand we created, one that is becoming recognizable. They can rock anything else they wanted, but they choose our brand. When you see something like that, you smile to yourself because your reflecting your hard work on someone else. We can still remember the first time our friend called us and said, " Hey, I just saw someone wearing Clever Fools! A total stranger!" We wouldn't be here without the supporters! I know you have heard that before, probably at concerts or sports game, but it's SO TRUE.