We were lucky to catch up with Cameron Swann recently and have shared our conversation below.
Cameron, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. What’s the backstory behind how you came up with the idea for your business?
Dead Battery started off as a poem I wrote my freshman year dedicated to my mental health and the loss of my late Aunt Shun. My Aunt Shun was the reason I am where I am today with success, being a college graduate, and defeating the odds of being an African-American male in America. After it was a poem, I wanted to incorporate Dead Battery into a YouTube series highlighting different issues many college students usually go through. The YouTube series was a success and many students at my university were tuned in. One day, a good friend of mines name Bella suggested I create merchandise for the YouTube series to get the name out more for it. My friends Azarria and Alex helped me create shirts on campus for $10 to start off the brand. Eventually the brand would out work the YouTube series to where many people wanted to purchase shirts, hoodies, beanies, etc. just to support Dead Battery. Fast forward now, Dead Battery was able to create merchandise for causes such as Breast Cancer Awareness and also establish scholarship funds for multiple students in need for graduation.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Dead Battery provides clothing and hat wear for all sizes and genders. What separates Dead Battery from other businesses is that this brand is a lifestyle. This brand is created to uplift mental health in the community and to remind people that you have to stay charged up. Many times we find ourselves seeing our battery percentage decrease to where we are depressed. This is a reminder to keep going and keep fighting no matter what. I believe the most proud moment of establishing Dead Battery is the scholarship funds we were able to create. Creating three scholarships already for a young small business is HUGE, and having many supporters wear the merchandise makes it even better. It will be times where I would go to the store and I would see people wearing my brand. Another moment is when I was blessed enough to mail the merchandise in multiple states across the country. My most recent state is Rhode Island and that made me smile that somebody way up on the East Coast is seeing my brand and I’m way in Texas!
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
Yes, so after graduating college I was offered a full time position in my career field and had to relocate to Austin, Texas. This was difficult because I had to find new vendors, find a new crowd, and also showcase the new crowd what Dead Battery is. Luckily, social media is powerful to where I had co workers literally come up to me and wanting to purchase shirts and shorts. Working close to 10 hours a day for 50 hours a week has not been easy, so what I usually do is have my weekends as ways to plan for Dead Battery. This goes with creating scholarships, new merchandise, and even finding ways to keep the brand alive. I have planners in my phone and also in my apartment that assists me with this path to planning.
How’d you build such a strong reputation within your market?
I think what helped me build my reputation within my market is two things: never giving up and having a brand that is genuine to a serious topic. Owning a business is not easy of course, but having consistency is also not easy. I have the mindset to overlook barriers and still give it my all no matter if I sell three hoodies or 50 hoodies. Giving back to the community is something I always tend to do because if I have it then we all have it. I grew up not having to worry about things and I know how it feels to do everything on your own. I use Dead Battery as a way to give back to the community so we all can succeed and achieve our goals. That’s how my reputation within my market stands out.
- Website: deadbatterycharge.com
- Instagram: @NoPercentage
- Twitter: @NoPercentage