NCMPRBL is a watch and fashion accessories brand inspired by people of color with the sole purpose to Create Over Conform.Take a look at Fashion Gxd Magazine exclusive cover feature with the rising brand.
Social media accounts: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter: @beNCMPRBL
FGM: Its an honor to sit down with you all . Tell us a little about your brand and how you’ve come to this vastly successful peek in your career .
Answer: Thanks for the gracious opportunity to build. NCMPRBL (Pronounced: N-Com-Per-Ah-Bull) is a black owned watch and fashion accessories brand originated in Houston, Texas. Vastly successful peek? Sheesh, that’s pressure lol. Before we even into the logistics of what makes us successful, let’s present what makes NCMPRBL, well, NCMPRBL.
The name in itself, is a feeling and a look. I wanted to create a brand name that spoke to the masses. What I mean by “feeling and a look”, is evoking the emotion of confidence. I want for our products to exemplify, self-worth and personal happiness, every time you wear something whether it be a watch, a shirt, bracelet, etc. Also, we as humans thrive off of exclusivity. Aside from NCMPRBL, I’m also a rap artist, and a name that always stuck with me when recording projects, well…a word…is Incomparable. Entirely too long for a brand name right? So how do we shorten it, and phonetically speaking, still enunciate it the same, and make it have appeal to our core audience? Remove the vowels. Yes.
Although NCMPRBL is scratching the surface of our potential, the brand being recognized is simply a result of following ethical business codes of simply doing right by our consumer, and satisfying a glaring gap, specifically in the watch industry. After studying the market there lied an opportunity for a watch brand that speaks to who we are as black millennials. By no means are we singling out any race/creed, being clear, but numbers showed that us as black people between the ages of 18–35, spend the most on watches and fashion accessories, but have slim representation of a brand that we can align our lifestyle with and be proud to wear on our wrist a la a Rolex, Fossil, etc. Add that to the fact that I have had an immense infatuation with watches since I was maybe 5–6 years old, I took a passion of mine to fill a void in the industry.
FGM: Who are the clients/what are the projects that you most enjoy working on?
Answer: Honestly, this isn’t to sound good or look good on paper, but I love working with different races and cultures, not just us. Although black millennials are at our core because at NCMPRBL, it’s who we are as a people, we all want to visit Italy and see how FILAs are designed. That means stepping outside of my comfort zone and connecting with other cultures and people that I didn’t have the opportunity to grow up. When I connect with other entrepreneurs and creatives, the energy brings so much inspiration to the brand because I get to switch gears and be a sponge.. Picking their brains asking: what works for you and your business? How do you and your brand define success? What hasn’t worked? Why did you pick this audience?
FGM: How do you feel you make a difference in the world?
Answer: NCMPRBL’s story is different from the norm. I coin it “authentic intelligence”. Intelligence wise, at the time of publication, I’ll be a doctor. It’s not the norm when you look at founders in this industry. Especially being a black doctor. I went to school for business, and education. I’m a clear example of someone who exercised all of their interests. That’s a game changer when connecting with my audience and inspiring them to change the world wherever they see fit. I know what student loan debt looks like lol. Those everyday things make someone of my “stature” more…accessible, more believable. I bring a different look to the world based off where I come from on the northside of Milwaukee, WI. Doctors who are successful in entrepreneurship isn’t common. I’m aware of it and it’s critical that I voice that truth to my community and beyond. Transitioning to an authentic perspective, I have a different connection with our audience. I have been an entrepreneur for all of my adult life, but until I jumped out the window with NCMPRBL, I always balanced it with working a 9–5. I’ve volunteered and forged relationships with the march of dimes, salvation army, the city years, I’ve taught, etc. So being able to touch people in different circles of life has given me the opportunity to present NCMPRBL as a result and a wider reach to be a difference maker in the world.
FGM: Tell us about a time when you showed determination to continue as an entrepreneur
Answer: FAILURE. I started NCMPRBL with leftover student loan money and a dream for my son to have a business when he’s ready. I left my job in higher education and my son wasn’t even 2 years old at the time. I lost everything I knew in Hurricane Harvey and his grandmother passed the week before that. All of this inspired NCMPRBL. I had to be bullheaded and come up with a plan. The desire to create this from absolutely nothing gave me an inexplicable fire. The research I did on the watch and fashion accessories industry I had a leg up on because I studied different movements, different buying trends, different levels of stainless steels, leathers, etc. The intricate things that showed I knew my product. The determination culminated from not wavering when I originally did not have the buy-in from the people closest to me. I took not being taken seriously and used it to expand, not shrink. I’m a firm believer of “the homies will catch up later.”
FGM: Give me the three best qualities of your brand
Answer: Our sneaker head rollout is outside of the norm in the watch industry. As a recovering sneaker head, when I was younger, Jordans typically came out every 2–6 weeks. We embody the 45-to-90 day rule with NCMPRBL. But instead of releasing 5–6 colorways at once, we’ll do one or two. Brings forth the exclusivity as well as the anticipation for new product, like I said previously, evoking that emotion.
Second, our culture. From our brand ambassadors, product development team, to our consumers, no one person is bigger than the brand. Everyone has a voice, which is critical because I can second guess anything.
Lastly, I just mentioned our consumers but they’re our lifeline…so I came up with NCMPRBLife as a way to describe our elite group of consumers. My consumers are everything. Without them, there’s no NCMPRBL. Not because of anything monetary, but because they believe in how we advance, and move with us. It’s an all-inclusive feeling and a look.
FGM: Give me an example of when you worked irregular hours?
Answer: My hours typically run anywhere from 9am-3am. Sketching new pieces, picking colorways, playing with different fabrics, drawing, meetings, before we even get to our grassroots approach of working marketplaces to give our prospective NCMPRBLife that feeling of being able to shake hands and connect with the founder, all comes within that time bracket. Long winded right? And I still get up and take my son to daycare. Life’s doesn’t stop. Honestly, that’s what makes the grind worth it. But…The craziest time comes when approving designs and meeting with the product development team. Our approach of examining the market, buying behavior, what colors will pop during particular seasons, efficient marketing tools and strategic planning, makes everything irregular. But worth it when we have satisfied clientele.
FGM: Being a entrepreneur is a 24/7 job, how did you get ready for that?
Answer: Lord, when don’t I work? Time management is paramount. Sacrifice is priority. There are times when it’s rewarding because I can get up and take my son to daycare. But…I launched NCMPRBL in the middle of my doctoral program. Imagine writing a 200+ page dissertation and say “well, I’m going to start a watch and fashion accessories brand…now because I feel like if I don’t now, I’m not going to”. Being rooted in e-commerce means constant interaction with our NCMPRBLife and doing business over the phone and computer. Time zone differences can be a beast.
FGM: How did you acquire the ability to work under pressure to beat meet deadlines as a entrepreneur ?
I took the drive from working a normal 9–5 and realized I’m too creative for it. The meeting deadlines piece from working a 9–5 helped me transition into entrepreneurship a lot easier. I learned how to adapt under pressure and carry the weight that comes with meeting deadlines. The biggest eye-opener for me was, I’m very…meticulous and I hate making mistakes. I had to become comfortable in knowing everything will not move smoothly, the biggest companies have faltered. It’s how you rebound. After Apple’s battery problem, I watched how they implemented peak performance in every iPhone after that. That’s how you rebound when something can’t be met initially and I apply that to NCMPRBL. There’s a lot of decision making such as investing, making smart moves and strategic planning to better reach a wider platform and all of that comes with being able to meet deadlines. As a entrepreneur, you work on your time AND others. that falls on my shoulders and I’m ok with that. From learning how to be ok with that, I can zone out, check boxes, meet goals and advance.
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