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Life & Work with William Bradford Sr

Today we’d like to introduce you to William Bradford Sr.

Hi William, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Since I was twelve years old, I always told my cousins that we should own our own business. It’s so many of us, and it seemed odd that we all have jobs when we can make our own. Whichever the business, it didn’t matter. I and my cousins loved each other deeply, and I always feel alone if I’m not with them. We are all so much alike in so many ways, but that’s because of the family-oriented atmosphere we grew up in. We were brought up on respectful values and taught to think highly of ourselves and value one another no matter what. No one was above us no matter how much money they had, we always had each other unconditionally. And, that was more than money. My grandmother Helen Bradford, who was a political figure back in the Kirk Smoke era, was a bold woman and was known highly through thethe years he was in office. And so a little bit of that fire was instilled in all of us. No matter where we go, we stand out as she did. It did take me several decades to map out how or what business to start, it had to be easy to start, but like all businesses, they are hard to maintain. So I chose clothing.

I chose the honey badger for our Logo specifically due to the fact that each one of us are tough-skinned, and we will stand firm on our demand to be treated fairly or else, as my grandmother did. Our slogan “Adapt or Die” was created specifically around COVID. In our opinion, if you don’t adapt accordingly to any detrimental situation, then you will end in harm’s way. Put your back to the wall and face all threats accordingly. Harshly said, but that is the world we live in. This is just the start and what makes us different than other families that start businesses is there is no one leader or “boss”. We all rule as one voice and no matter the title description we all upon our council share the same in value. I, myself is the glue the core, Keith Bradford Jr is the head, Matthew Lee the brains, Melvin Hope the heart, Sead Richardson arms, Candice Hope, Melvins wife & Aysia Stephens, my future wife, are the pillars that do more for us than we could ask them to do. We all coordinate and work hard to build this future for our children. In which we will employ and train to run the future business with us until its time for us to pass the success on to them to rule. Right now, its just a vision, but certain things such as this interview is giving me the notion that our time is coming. Sorry, it wasn’t that brief, but speaking about us is encouraging lol.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
So far, it’s been smooth. But, it’s beginning to get tough due to the world is peaking on being back to “normal.” We are having trouble touching a demographic, let alone a following. But, we are planning a few things within the next couple of months. So we shall see lol.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
At the moment, I am a FedEx Freight Commercial driver. I am a Class A driver, and on my spare time, whenever I get time, I do graphic design, I myself, my girlfriend and sometimes my other cousins all hand make our clothes. We don’t build patterns as of yet, but we have Candice Hope, who is teaching herself to create patterns. I use to be known for doing tattoos from the time I was 21 – 33. I never lost my sense for art. I just repurposed it to a higher scale. Now, I am the creator. I stress myself out consistently creating future innovations for clothing and the assortment of businesses we will move onto creating after we have gotten BLK Badger to a certain point of success. What I’m most proud of is succeeding at finally bringing me and my cousins together. We are all so stuck in our employee situations, I chose to be the one to step off the ledge first and show them we can do this, and without question, they jumped off with me. And, I proudly did so because I get it. Everybody doesn’t have the position to make that sacrifice.

So whether succeed or fail, I made sure I’d be the only ones who take the fall if so. I selfishly did this due to the fact that it would personally hurt me more if I dragged them down with me what sets us apart from the rest. We already understand that we can not end up like the other family businesses that think it’s time to relax. We are hungry and we work in the fashion of a orca pod. We highly understand that we have to respect one another and keep our emotions at a minimal. We all already appointed ourselves jobs. When certain goals are met and certain places we are in, it will be time to step up. Take, for instance, Sead will take on our sports division, but his time is coming, so he helps me mostly with innovation and crafts. Melvin, who has a background in management, will build our HR department when the time comes so he makes himself available when needed. We will not be just a clothing brand hiding behind our catchy phrases and tee shirts. We literally want to make clothing that everybody can comfortably mold into. We want to build a community of jobs that’s actually fun and you won’t have to have a college degree to work for us. You will have to have some sort of self-teaching skill and be willing to learn because we will not out source. The sweat will come from our brows, and the blood will drip from our hands.

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
Yes, I literally put every dime I have into this with the idea that my sacrifice that I’ll never see a dime back until all of us are equally circulating pay for ourselves. I put myself at high risk every time we make our clothes with the amount of heat we workaround with the irons and high cost of working tired due to getting off work to come home and possibly damage clothing and supplies we don’t have the money to replace. And, man, let me tell you, I personally have destroyed supplies and garments through self-teaching, creating demos, and wear and tear treatments. Due to the fact that we will not sell the public nothing that wont survives the consistent washing cycles. Let alone in the coming future natural skincare products. We test everything on ourselves. If we can’t wear it or adorn it on ourselves, then we shouldn’t distribute it.

My perspective on risk-taking is my everyday life. Anywhere somebody show fear or gossip for the hardship, I throw myself in the direction. I’ve been told that FedEx is a hard job to obtain. A guy like yourself will never work for that company with tattoos and 2 stretched earlobes. Well, nailed it. I’ve been told, “man, it’s hard to get your CCW License.” Well, I obtained it. “Man its hard to start a business.” and again, I proved them wrong. It’s hard to maintain a business. Not hard to start one. LOL. But, I believe in calculated rick more than the risk itself. Its stupid not to assess a situation before walking into it. Whether if it takes you a second or days, make sure you are capable before you act. And, fear is the last emotion you want to allow into your system because your risk will end up as a regret. I know what I’m doing, but I don’t if that makes sense. I’m more of a great decision-maker than a people person. Most people think and move off of emotion, and I have been raised to move off of understanding. It’s not always about me, it’s about US. If not we you are alone and will inevitably end up alone, with only your selfish emotion keeping you company.

 Contact Info:

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  • Instagram: @blkbadgerapparel
  • Facebook: @blkbadgerapparel

Image Credits
William I Bradford Sr Matthew Lee Keith Bradford Jr Sead Richardson Melvin Hope Aysia Stephens & Candice Hope

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