ORiGiN: AKRON, OH
SCHOOL: UNiVERSITY OF AKRON
iNSTAGRAM & TWiTTER: @willienpc
AKRON’S VERY OWN, Willie Harper and Thomas McFarland (not pictured) masterminded the breakout brand, Not Perfect. With the very appropriate motto, “making it,” Not Perfect is sure to do just that. Gaining support from the most influential person from Akron, OH, Lebron James, is just one of the milestones Not Perfect has reached. Learn more about this local brand on the rise!
DRiP: How has the city of Akron influenced your brand?
WH: Showing us that anything is possible. If you put the work in you can achieve anything.
DRiP: How did it all get started?
WH: We looked up to brands like Ilthy and Blessed Label. We sat in Bierce Library between classes at Akron trying to figure out how to launch a clothing brand. We looked over many brands and came up with ideas to set us apart.
DRiP: How long did it take for people to really notice Not Perfect?
WH: Summer of 2011, we were making “Akron Heat” tees down in Merriman Valley on Wednesday’s for ourselves to wear. People kept asking, “Where did you get that shirt?!” So we started making them for a few people, then they caught on. Once LeBron was wearing them, we sold over 3,000 of them while he was in Miami!
DRiP: Who or what inspires you the most?
WH: Glen Infante, the creator of Ilthy. He is one of the most talented artists/graphic designers entrepreneurs in not just Ohio, but in the nation.
DRiP: What is the concept behind Not Perfect?
WH: Pieces that everyone can relate to. We make clothing for the masses with meaning.
DRiP: Were there any obstacles you had to overcome as a young entrepreneur?
WH: Yes. Starting off finding the right shirts and processes to make shirts efficiently to make a good profit was hard.
DRiP: Who is your brand geared towards?
WH: Everyone. We try to make shirts that the masses can rock with.
DRiP: Describe Not Perfect in 4 words.
WH: Everyone can relate to
DRiP: What has been the most rewarding thing about having your own business?
WH: Being able to make clothes for yourself and kids, and also free marketing.
DRiP: What sets Not Perfect apart from other brands?
WH: We do limited releases and only drop items a few times a year.
DRiP: What is the most popular piece you have put out so far?
WH:The “Akron Heat” tee when lebron was in Miami!
DRiP: Why should people rock Not Perfect Clothing?
WH: We dodge what is clichè and do our own thing, which is the same thing we encourage individuals to do.
DRiP: Do you have plans to collab with any other brands or artists?
WH: We have a collab coming up entitled “Dream Purple” with another local brand, Purple Plane. It will be a shirt and hat limited release.
DRiP: What’s your favorite thing memory from growing up in Akron?
WH: Going to “The Boot” in high school. You had all races under one roof having a great time. Most fun in my life as a kid!
DRiP: What are some goals you have for your brand, both short and long term?
WH: To continue to have longevity. We have been around 5 years. I plan on keeping it going!
DRiP: Name one person you would love to see wearing Not Perfect.
WH: Cam newton. After he lost the super bowl, he took a lot of criticism. I always dreamed of him wearing one of our pieces. Maybe one day.
DRiP:What was the first thing you did when Lebron & the Cavs won the finals?
WH: I tried to make plans to make it to the championship parade, but I couldn’t make it! Bummer.
DRiP: If you could host a fashion show anywhere in the world where would it be?
WH: I would say San Diego. It is such a diverse city due to all the military bases in the area.
DRiP: Where can we view or purchase your line?
WH: NotPerfectWorld.com is the brand’s site & shop! We also have releases inside NEXT stores from time to time in Northeast Ohio. Instagram: @notperfectbrand and Twitter: @notperfectco.
DRiP: What is your brands motto?
WH: “Making it”
DRiP: What is the greatest thing you have accomplished to date?
WH: Graduating from college!