Pure Hoop: A Hustle of Love, Basketball and Art
When Jack Perkins isn’t working as an animator for hit tv-series Family Guy, he’s busy building his own brand, Pure Hoop, consisting of basketball-themed streetwear, and screenprints, and was born of frustration from not being able to find stuff he could actually wear to support his team.
Here are some takeaways from our conversation with him about the slow-build process of starting your own brand and how to drive attention to it.
DOUBLE UP ON YOUR HUSTLE
I’m actually a full-time animator. My day job is working for Family Guy, but more of my passion is the stuff I’m doing with my Pure Hoop brand. My two favorite things—making art, and basketball—I’m doing my best to merge those two ideas and am having a lot of fun with it.
IF YOU CAN’T FIND WHAT YOU LIKE, MAKE IT
I started my business like three years ago with the idea of multi-focusing on shirts. I am a die-hard Lakers fan and I was having a hard time finding stuff that I actually wanted to wear to support my team. So I was like, you know what, I’m just going to make my own stuff. People were digging it a little bit. Then, I was like, I’ll make a bunch of these and see how it goes. And you start having a lot of fun coming up with designs and screen-printing them; that’s how it took off.
GET COMFORTABLE PUTTING YOUR STUFF OUT THERE
For me, it was just a matter of being a little more comfortable with putting myself out there. Social media is such a great outlet for that, just making it easy for everybody to get noticed. First year or so I was doing this, I was just more behind the scenes and creating stuff, telling people about what I but not really posting, and then just creating a steady stream of posts and just doing the work—if you’re doing stuff that people like, they’re going to find you; that’s how I used social media to do a little work for Bleacher Report.
FIND INSPIRATION IN THE NOW
I feel like a lot of my best work come during the season, and most times it comes from just watching the game. It won’t be a specific play, but it’s something about the player’s character, something they’re doing, where I would be like, Oh, I can potentially dive into that in a piece, or if they hit a milestone, like [Greg] Popovich did with the wins total, I have him sitting on top of that G. Yeah, I feel like it’s easier during the season because everything is so topical.
IF YOU LOVE IT ENOUGH, YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN
Building a brand, well, it’s a slow process. As long as you feel you got something to contribute and your stuff is a little different and you’re getting positive feedback, people will see it and go, ‘I’d wear that. You have one of those for me?’
Yeah, it’s definitely a lot of small steps you stay on top of. Like inventory, finding a reliable screen-printer, shipping, having good customer support. If you love it enough and you want your product out there, you can make it happen.
KEEP HITTING THOSE HASHTAGS
I think it’s just a matter of being persistent, just really active about creating and posting. Once your stuff is out there, keep hitting those hashtags and people are going to find you. That’s the other thing that really helps, too: When someone finds you and they ask you to do something, when I had the opportunity to do a couple of things for Bleacher Report, they post something on their page and they tag you; that’s going to give you a really big bump in followers and it’s just out of being persistent.