How to Start a Streetwear Company: Q&A With Ray Mate of Mighty Healthy

Having a dream is easy but living your dream is something that takes drive and dedication. Ray Mate is a person who has both. Co-founder of the popular skate/streetwear brand Mighty Healthy, Ray has been on top of his industry for years and continues to progress his brand while staying true to his roots. We recently sat down with him to pick his brain about how to make it in the game.

Tell us about yourself, who are you?
I don’t know – I’m a born & bred New Yorker who’s following his dreams. I grew up in Bay Ridge and moved to Canarsie where we lived until ’89. I started skating in ’88 with my friends Giovanni Reda, Keith Hufnagel and Gino Ianucci.

How Did MH Start?
Mighty Healthy started in 2004 with the name coming from a Ghostface song. I’ve always loved skating and gear, and at first it was a little side project. It started to catch and turned into something that has grown to where I can do what I love everyday.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration is natural. I’m inspired by a lot of things- my friends, movies, NYC. The best thing is taking all the things that pop into your head and bouncing those ideas off the group of people who help bring the brand to life.

What’s one "Do" & one "Don’t" you learned about streetwear?
One “Do” would be to stay on the same path. Be authentic. We’ve held the same direction for nine years. Always be who you are… I wouldn’t say there are too many "Don'ts". If you do what you feel and fail, it's still a learning experience.

Do you have any more advice for someone who wants to start a streetwear brand?
Don’t do it! (Laughs) Nah- but if you’re really serious about it then learn about it. Go to school. I hate school but it’s important. Do your research and get training.

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