Romar Duco is the founder of STRYVE clothing, a lifestyle street-wear brand, promoting a forward-looking mindset that explores all possibilities. He’s also a fashion designer and a current student in NAIT’s Digital Media and IT program. Duco is not one who rests and waits, simply wishing to accomplish something. He is a go-getter. It was this ambition and kind of thinking that eventually led him to launch his own clothing brand last May.
Duco and his family lived in Toronto before moving to Alberta. During that time, he witnessed his parents working hard to improve their lifestyle. This made him believe relentless hard work certainly pays off. But the trigger first launched when he was accepted into a program at NAIT.
NAIT has been the place where he discovered that his ideas can be easily turned into reality, when surrounded by knowledgeable people and accessible, advanced technology. Moreover, an institute like NAIT can be one of the best places to market and sell a product, due to the affluence of people here. In the same way, Duco’s aptitude for design was obvious and he kept sharpening this skill through projects and small ventures.
“I remember designing my own T-shirt for project work in junior high and high school.”
Following those small ventures, which strengthened his yearning to establish a clothing line, Duco still wasn’t sure about his idea and how he was going to make it happen. Then he got to NAIT.
“When I first came in, I didn’t know that creating your own website was that easy… I was around people who knew how to do it and that inspired me to go for it.” After being sure about the branding and the design of a selection of hoodies, sweaters and headwear, he contacted a local manufacturer to make the clothes. But he then encountered one of the biggest problems all entrepreneurs face; the funding. At that time, Duco received almost no money to fund his new venture. However, what he did to make it happen truly represents what STRYVE stands for.
“In December, 2016, I sold my PS4 and my two pairs of Yeezy shoes for a higher price.”
With this initial self-funding, he then went on to launch their first website. Since then, the clothing line has noticed sales increasing, as well as local recognition.
He’s now running the clothing line with the help of friend and associate Joshua Magtoto, a student from the University of Alberta, who deals with the statistics and projections of how much stock are sold.
“I want the brand to be established locally and support local businesses, and then the rest will follow.”
You may wonder why STRYVE is written with a ‘Y’ instead of an ‘I’. STRYVE has a double meaning. First, it represents a set of core values that inspire others to retreat from their comfort zones and work relentlessly until their goal is achieved. Secondly, is the word ‘try,’ which means that if you ever want to do something great, you have to at least try sometime. Everything starts with a seed as an idea, then through watering, effort and hard work it grows and becomes a beautiful rose; just like the STRYVE logo.
STRYVE also aims to give back to communities, both locally and globally, and to help fund people in need. Ten percent of their revenue is donated to charities such as We Free the Children and YESS.
Is there anything you wish to achieve? If so, what are you waiting for?
Go get it.
– Djanvi Christian