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Actively Black at New York Fashion Week: An eCommerce Masterclass

Tommie, Tie and Kai discuss Actively Black, an apparel company known for its high quality athleisure wear, and analyze what makes the brand successful - from its premium materials and inclusive sizing to strategic influencer marketing. This episode is full of gems and lessons for eCommerce founders with an emphasis on strong purpose, top-notch branding, quality fulfillment, and designing products with marketing and influencer collaborations in mind. Tune in to hear their analysis of what makes Actively Black's business so successful and learn the secrets to implementing these same strategies for your brand!
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Key Episode Highlights

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • The importance of standing for something as a brand and how this can be a game changer for long term success
  • How to create consistency across your products, website, and the fulfillment experience
  • Unique influencer marketing strategies to take away from Actively Black


If you’re enjoying this podcast we encourage you to please leave a review, share this episode with someone who needs to hear it and hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out on any future episodes! Click here to subscribe on Apple Podcasts

[00:00:00] Tommie: the whole reason why I even wanted to talk about this today is because you need to go study what they're doing.

If you want to be great, go look at, here's an example, right? Here's a real world example. This is un. Paid for This is purely on the strength of organic of somebody who been in this space a long ass time and know what it takes to be great.

And they hitting on this shit, So y'all, I just bought some gear. I ordered it and it came in like two days. I was like, super nice. That was, that was like fast. Like some, right. Like prime, but I ain't ordered on prime. I ordered it on their website. So actively black. I just bought, okay. So I had bought some stuff from them before. And, uh, you say you heard of them before?

Yeah. You heard of them before? Yeah. Y'all 

[00:01:50] Kai: heard of them, right? KevOnStage put me on. KevOnStage? Yeah. Really? Listen, actively Black's, like, influencer game is strong. Wow. 

[00:02:01] Tommie: Wasn't he messing with Obama or something like that? Obama Yeah, Obama? I think so. Yeah, yeah, Yeah, 

[00:02:06] Kai: yeah. There you go. Ooh. Yep. I don't even think it's like, you know, from like a paid sponsored.

I mean, I imagine some of those influencers, you know, are, but I think there's just like a lot of celebrities and a lot of cool people who just really like their shit. 

[00:02:18] Tommie: Well, that's how I just went and bought right. Ellen Iverson popped up in my feed walking down the runway in some actively black shit. I was like, wow.

All right. Like, you know, mind you, it's NYFW, like I didn't even know what the hell that was. I didn't know what that was. 

[00:02:35] Kai: Yeah, New York Fashion Week. New York 

[00:02:37] Tommie: Fashion Week. This is not, a New York, I mean, again, like, I, first of all, I don't, I ain't really into fashion like that. And second of all, this is a, Athletic.

This is like a jogger and a hoodie. Right. I don't, I don't think, you know, associating fashion week with this. I didn't know that's what it was. I just thought that it was doing a cool event or whatever. Now to find out that they're part of fashion week was kind of crazy. Interesting. Yeah. 

[00:03:07] Kai: Fashion week. Well, New York fashion week has become more inclusive over the years.

So, so it's not surprising to me that they're, they, you know, wound up on, on runway. But it's, they did a really great show. I don't know if you guys have seen it. But it's just like super different, like very, very different from what you would typically see at, at fashion week for sure. They had all kinds of people.

[00:03:29] Tommie: Yeah, I didn't see the whole show. I just saw Allen Iverson pop up in my feed which made me be like, you know, cause Allen Iverson that dude, like, you know what I mean? So it's just like 

[00:03:41] Kai: the power of influencer marketing. Yeah, 

[00:03:45] Tommie: that's fine. But like. When it comes to the culture, like, you know, look at, if you look at the NBA today, it's Allen Iverson, when nobody like Allen Iverson was doing the corn rows in the, in the, in the, in the dress and everything he was doing at the time where nobody was doing that.

Allen Iverson set the trend for this whole. Damn, the whole shit like anybody in sports to tell you like Allen Iverson wanted to do so For them to be messing with Allen Iverson. I was like, yo, that's crazy, right? But it also reminded me I need to go buy some I need to go check out their products 

[00:04:22] Tieron: off the back of that I believe Allen Iverson was just introduced into the Hall of Fame.

[00:04:26] Tommie: Yeah When I just introduced Allen Iverson been in the hall He introduced Dwayne Wade into the heart of it was. Yeah. And he had the Dwayne Wade, he had the jacket on with the Wade name and the what's the name on the back with his number on kind of like a jersey type, the back of a, of a, of a sport jacket.

But on the back, he had like the, the, the, the, the, the uniform vibe with the name and the number and stuff. It was dope. It was dope. Allen I was in that dude, man. He'd been sitting trends, but so I went and bought, so I, this shit came in two days and I was surprised and I ain't know I was going to get it that fast.

And I ordered from them before. And I think, I don't know if it came that fast or not. I don't know. But that was like, damn, that's cool. So then you pop, pop the packaging open. Now, I did have it last time I bought from them, but the, but the stuff, it come in this like, plastic zip thing, where it's like, it's pretty damn dope.

It's almost like, I don't know if y'all ever ordered shit from somebody where like, like a t shirt or whatever the case may be. Like, how it come to you is like, I got to know how it come to

you. It's just fall out of the, you just, you open the bag. That is the end that they shipped it in and it's just down in there for them. You got to take. The shit out of the bag that it came in and then each item is in his own individual. Oh, gotcha. 

[00:06:00] Kai: Like, like Skims 

[00:06:01] Tommie: does that. See, I ain't never bought from Skims, but.

[00:06:06] Kai: Yeah, I think a lot of like the athleisure or leisure wear companies they do something similar. If you're referring to what I think you're referring to. 

[00:06:15] Tommie: Yeah, it's like a plastic. Like a plastic zip. It's not as it's like a plastic zip or whatever, but the stuff is inside of that, but the packaging on the outside, I got the brand and on it, it tells you what the thing is that's in there and the whole nine or whatever the case may be pretty cool.

Right. So 

[00:06:33] Kai: nice unboxing experience. 

[00:06:35] Tommie: Nice unpackaging experience. Right. So I pulled this shit out and I already know, cause I bought this stuff before that the quality is the quality of materials. was impressed me the first time I bought from them, but the fit wasn't, I don't think they had nailed it at that time.

You know what I'm saying? I felt like maybe they had some work to do on that front. How long 

[00:06:58] Kai: ago was that? Huh? How long ago? This had to 

[00:07:01] Tommie: be probably like a year ago, at least a year, at least a year ago, at least. So this

time around I pulled the shit out. I'm like feeling it or whatever. I'm looking at all the little details and stuff. And it's like, man, this shit is as dope as dope it in what I thought it was going to be because it's like what kind of athletic. So it's the Wakanda land is gray with the black writing on it.

It's got the Wakanda athletics on it. It's got the little patch and the zipper thing and all the little cool shitting in the pants that go with it because I bought the joggers. And the hoodie to go together. So I'm looking at it out of detail and they, they always have had that. But then I tried this shit on man.

I was like, they got me. I'm about to go, I'm about to go rack up on, on, on, I want all of the colors that they got, they got me, they got me. Not only that we can talk about, cause obviously e commerce, right? So the product, the packaging and the product and all of that shit is amazing. But I also think from a marketing standpoint.

We can unpack some of what's happening because this shit, like I'm pretty hard to impress and on top of that, like, I noticed e commerce shit. So it's a lot to unpack here. You know what I'm saying? It's a lot to unpack here, but they got me at this point. They got me like, I'm, I'm, I'm like, they don't even know me, but I'm about to be, I'm about to be what you call it when you.

What you call them people who, You a fan. 

[00:08:40] Tieron: You a stan. 

[00:08:42] Tommie: You a fanatic. No, athlete black. I'm about to make videos and that shit. I'm about to go in. That's what I'm about to go in. Yeah, but I never would have thought I would be. I ain't really, 

[00:08:56] Kai: I don't really do that. I hear, I don't, I haven't purchased anything from Actively Black yet, so I don't, I don't know what the, I'm very picky though.

Like I'm severely, like, but even like, cause I'm, I'm a chick, right? Like I'm a woman. So, and especially when it comes down to like the fit of things, like my, my waist to hip ratio is serious, right? Like. My hips compared to my waist, it's, it's just like I'm curvy. So it's like super, super important that the fit is like everything, but it sounds like, I mean, if you're, if you're saying like it is, it is what you say it is, then it's worth, it's worth checking out.

I've seen some pretty cool designs from them and things though. 

[00:09:38] Tommie: Yeah, definitely. And they got that motherfucking Disney uh, you know, to be able to use Wakanda, they had to have that Disney 

[00:09:44] Kai: license. Yeah. No, they've had, they have actually like a lot of partnerships. I think that that's something that they've done really like a really, really great job of is establishing these various collaborations.

I know that they have I think their most recent collaboration is with the Muhammad Ali estate. Oh shit. 

[00:10:03] Tommie: Yeah. Oh yeah. You know what? I think, I think they emailed me about that. Cause they email and text message game. They be on their game with that, you know? Yeah, I think they emailed me about that.

[00:10:13] Kai: they've got a, drop that's like super dope. It's kind of like, a, it looks like an acid wash kind of vibe with like the 

[00:10:20] Tommie: sweatshirts. Tshirts. And that's, that's probably one copied then because my Ali is the greatest to me, he number one Yeah. It athlete ever to live in my book.

[00:10:32] Kai: Yeah. It's like vintage style, but it's got that. That like old school kind of vibe to it. Super cool. Yeah, 

[00:10:39] Tommie: okay. That's probably why I ain't cop it then. now that you said that, I remember now, they emailed me about that, but I didn't cop it for some reason.

I don't like that asset. That design probably wasn't for me, you know what I'm saying? It's coming 

[00:10:53] Kai: back. I think that's probably why they, they decide to go that direction too. Cause it's definitely, I'm seeing a lot more of that in the fashion, like e com space in particular. So it's, it's coming back for sure, but I think it was really brilliantly done and they've, they've just had a host of, I think various collabs and whatnot, but they're, they're.

Power lies, I think, in their brand partnerships and their partnerships with athletes and various influencers and what have you. they just exude cool. 

[00:11:21] Tommie: You know what it is, right? You get a lot of people that kill it on the brand shit. That's true. When you get the product, do we got their live up to the height?

That's the thing, right? This is why I'm so hype about y'all. No, I don't really like, I don't really do that. But like I'm telling y'all the product, they fucking nailed it in this instance. I'm like, yo, y'all got me because I feel like a lot of people. Marketing wise, they land on the branding and the message and the story and all of that.

But then the product don't really match that. And in this instance, the product, I think, might be better than this shit. 

[00:12:01] Kai: Honestly, and that's, that's what you want to aim for as a brand. I think a lot of times what's happening is you have, to your point, there are brands that are just like, they're not, they're great on the marketing and sales side.

But when it comes to the fulfillment side, it's just regular shmegular. Or worse. And to me, a brand that can really scale and become a powerhouse is a brand that can fulfill its marketing promises or exceed them. Yep. And exceeding them is extremely rare. That's like, that's why, and I know how picky you are, like how selective you are about all, all the shits, right?

Just like me. So like when I, when you say like, okay, this is fire and I'm hooked, like that's, that's gonna, that's gonna, you know, peak my interest 

[00:12:46] Tommie: for sure. I think they in LA and I got my shit in two days. I didn't even know I was going to get the product in two days. Cause I just ordered standard shipping.

I didn't like. Choose some extra. It could be that, say it's delivery or no shit. 

[00:13:01] Kai: Yeah, I mean it could be, and I don't know right, because I, I'm not in the know, on that side of things with actively black specifically, but it could be that they just have multiple warehouses. so maybe they've got, maybe I wouldn't be surprised if they have they 

[00:13:14] Tommie: me a tracking thing.

That shit said, that shit said La m la. Oh, 

[00:13:18] Kai: okay. Well, there you go. 

[00:13:20] Tommie: I said wait a minute. Right. Like, and y'all know like my guy he'd been telling me like they got it. But I mean, again, I bought the product, whatever the case may be, but this time around, like I get it.

Yeah, I have to agree. They got it. I was trying to pull my tracking number I want to say the origination was LA and I got it in two days and I didn't pay extra, which is nice. Right. Cause you, Most people are going to charge you extra for that fast of shipping, pay for that. So that was impressive in and of itself that I even got it that fast.

You know what I'm saying? yeah, two days ago, actually, you know what y'all I'm wrong. I got that shit the next day. Cause I got this yesterday. as I'm looking back at my order now, I ordered it and it came the next fucking day.

I'm looking at it right now. And the origination is LA. 

[00:14:16] Kai: Yeah, I think that's fire. And I think it was 0. I think it's incredibly important. Basically, so they, they probably built in the shipping into their pricing, which makes sense because they are like a premium brand. They're not selling, you know, they're not selling this stuff for cheap.

[00:14:32] Tommie: But I know I'm wrong. No, I was right. It's two days. I'm looking at, they sent me this the next day letting me know my order was on the way. So my original order, it came in two days. Gotcha. Yeah. It came in today, which is still, which is still, 

[00:14:49] Kai: that's still powerful, especially if you don't have to pay for pay for expedited and, and that's the thing it's like, but you know, they, they've been able to amass a a following and a customer base that will allow for that too.

It's not to say that all brands can manage that, but that's, that's what you should aim for. Like there are, there are too many brands out here selling. whether they're in the leisure space or athletic space or other apparel spaces that are selling things and you don't get it for three weeks and it's ridiculous.

It's ridiculous. Like there's no real reason for that. As long as you are being strategic about your vendors, suppliers, manufacturer, that sort of thing. Yeah. 

[00:15:29] Tieron: We definitely need to get into their influence of marketing game because what I tell people all the time is when you're selling.

Textiles, or when you're selling some sort of commodity, you definitely have to roll up your sleeves and dig deep into the influence of marketing space. And I'm seeing that they got this on lock. 

[00:15:45] Tommie: The Allen Iverson thing popped up in my feed. It reminded me. Obviously, I got their products sitting in my house already, right?

Right. But I'm scrolling and I see Allen Iverson rocking their shit. And I have an affinity to Allen Iverson. Right. And I grew up. You know, Jordan is Jordan, right? You can't put nobody in his category, but if you take Jordan out of the picture and you talk about just straight Hoopers that I enjoy watching is AI and it's Colby, you know what I mean?

And I ain't talking about the rings and the, this, I'm just talking about like just straight, like they will get me to pay money to come see them play. It was Ellen Iverson and Kobe Bryant were the two people that it didn't matter if they won or lost, I would pay money to go watch them. You get what I'm saying?

That's my affinity to Ellen Iverson, which is like, damn, they fucking with AI? 

[00:16:36] Kai: There's like a, there's a lot of people I think that they've really been able to leverage in a really powerful way. That, that are like celebrities and influencers. I know Kenya Barris is like, he goes hard for Actively Black.

There are like just so many other people, Ludacris, like, there's so many, there's so many. And I think there's even I know with the New York Fashion Week show, they had like a number, I think almost all of their models were influencers in one way or another. I know Afion Crockett was there doing some cool stuff.

And what was really cool about how they went about it, and I think this is the reason why they've been able to gain so much momentum as well, is that they are, they're like Black Black. Like, they stand very strong and rooted in that Blackness and as, like, being a pillar of Black culture and supporting and empowering Black communities and all kinds of stuff.

So I think that that's enabled them to get a lot of people to rally around them for sure. And you saw that. throughout the course of the New York Fashion Week show as well. Like, I mean, they were, bringing up superstructures like Malcolm X and like, and all of these. Yeah. Yeah. But like, but I think the reason why they're able to.

Put so much care and attention and detail into the customer experience and all of these things is because they've amassed a following and amassed a level of sales and revenue that allows them to dive into that on a much more intentional, much deeper level than a lot of other brands. It's the, it's the cash, right?

It's like, it's the, I mean, because, because some of this stuff takes bread. 

[00:18:17] Tommie: You do you do is I'm telling you, this is premium. this ain't no, like, they just went and bought some shit and slapped they thing on it. This couldn't so. And I'm saying that because I've been down the rabbit hole of this for quite some, so many years.

I just never pulled the trigger on, which is how I even know, like, if I would have ever put actually, like, it started with me because I'm a big dude and it'd be hard for me to find stuff that I like. So, you know, me and my brother was actually having this conversation a couple of years back and he was telling me when it come to suits and stuff.

And y'all know, y'all saw that, you know, when did I got customer, whatever he was like, go to the tailor, you know what I'm saying? Get a cut and so. You know, or if you can find one that's already, you know, made that they can take up to fit you, obviously it needs to probably be bigger than you. And they can cut it down because if it's too small, they ain't going to be able to make it up.

But my brother was like, go to the tailor, you know, and he got me to thinking about that. And I was like, I could probably do that with anything. He was like, yeah, you could. And so he, the one got me in that mindset. And that's how I landed on the whole idea of cutting. So, because it's hard, it's like, I'll buy a hoodie.

Right. And it's like. You know, the arm, the, the, the sleeves will be fine, but my gut will be hanging from up under. You know what I'm saying? Or that part will be right, but the sleeves will be too damn short or whatever the case may be. Right. It'd be so hard for me. So that's kind of why I've been down this rabbit hole.

So for me to buy this from them, like I said, I bought some other stuff before. The only thing about it just kind of fit a little tight, but the premium quality of it is fucking phenomenal. So this ain't from Aliexpress, you saying? Nah, dawg, nah, this cutting so bro, like, this ain't, this ain't, this ain't that.

So for me to get this... And to put this shit on, and I'm telling y'all the fit, they knocked it out of the park, man. And then the quality is the quality and all of this shit. It's just like all of the things really lined up, dog got me really excited. I was like, they got me. It's a wrap. I'm about to go a hundred miles an hour on the shit. Like I'm finna be rocking this shit all the time. 

[00:20:21] Kai: So what I'm getting at, though, is the thing is, is that they, like, that requires bread, like, because it requires a certain caliber of designer, it requires a certain caliber of, like, that entire, that entire creative team.

Like not even just in terms of, okay, here's the design, but okay, here's what the fit's going to be. Here's what our version of large is going to look like. And here's the sizes that's going to accommodate. And here's why we're going to have maybe like wider hips for our legging. I'm just, you know, again, I haven't purchased it.

Yeah. So it's, but it's one of those things that like, it requires. And I don't know what the founder's background is. NBA. Oh, okay. Oh, okay. That's cool. So, so I imagine that there are plenty of brands out there that have been able to achieve a similar level of quality in terms of fit, but those people have either been able to amass a certain level of revenue to be able to invest in creative teams and design teams and that sort of thing that will be able to perform at that level or the founder had a background in design.

Previously, they're bringing that with them into this particular venture. Sounds like this is probably the former. but yeah, I mean, I think that it's just, it's really important to be able to be in a really strong position to be able to invest at that level because that's the, that's what's going to keep people like, I'm sure, 

[00:21:54] Tommie: I'm sure.

Get all kind of bread out 

[00:21:56] Kai: of me. Listen, I'm sure actively blacks LTV is out there. Like, if it's probably already, I'm sure it's already, 

[00:22:05] Tommie: I'm certain it's, if I got anything to do with it, it's going to be crazier. 

[00:22:10] Kai: Like I'm, I'm, I'm sure of it because from what I'm hearing and from what I'm seeing like on social and, and all these other various places, I've, I've not heard anything negative and that's a rare, I've not heard anything negative about actively black as, as a product line, as a brand, what have you.

And I think people are really, really, and I know we're like totally gushing over them and all like, listen, this was not, this is not a sponsored. Podcast episode. Nobody's paying us. They gonna see me rocking 

[00:22:41] Tommie: this shit. And anybody that know me can check my track record. Let me just speak on that real quick.

Anybody that know me can check my track record. Tommy ain't out here just goddamn, you know, for shits and giggles or just, you know, for clout or whatever the case may be. That ain't right. Anybody that know me know better than that. I'm just saying like I'm in the e commerce space. I know what it takes to be great.

These motherfuckers has got it. They got it. And I understand the nuance. When I say they got it, I understand the nuance of what the fuck that mean. So hopefully people are taking heed, not cause I'm trying to push them to buy the product. Well, where's the whole reason why I even wanted to talk about this today is because you need to go study what they're doing.

If you want to be great, go look at, here's an example, right? Here's a real world example. This is un. Paid for un like all of the whatever things it is. None of those things. This is purely on the strength of organic of somebody who been in this space a long ass time and know what it takes to be great.

And they hitting on this shit, you know, and so here's an opportunity for us to share why that is and what our thoughts are around that when this is the fresh, you know, kind of scenario that's, you know, I'm in the middle of, right. And so, you know, obviously things could change in the future if something shit was to go downhill, but based on what I'd have seen, I don't, I don't expect that to happen.

[00:24:07] Kai: Yeah, no, I think that there, I think there have been really, really powerful on the influencer front. And I think it's largely because of the quality of the product and also the message. Also the brand voice and the brand itself, right? Like, I, I recommend people just go through, like, take a look at the fashion week show.

And, and like, it's just, it's all, it's not even just influencers studded, like, they had like the founder of Afrofuture, like, walking the runway. Come on now. It used 

[00:24:40] Tommie: to be Afrochella, but they got a cease and desist just kind of throwing it out there. 

[00:24:45] Kai: Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. So they, they're the biggest music festival in Africa.

Correct. Okay. So like. He's, he's elevating and showcasing black excellence, which is what the brand is all about globally right across the whole diaspora. And so I think that there is something to be gathered from that. I know even on their like their social media, like what they actually were doing was pretty genius because in inviting these influencers to be models on the runway, right? Now they're collecting all sorts of like their social media I'm sure exploded after after their show because they're using all of these various clips with all these influencers and they're tagging them in all of these various social media posts all across like Instagram, TikTok, where have you.

And those people are obviously sharing that content as well with their followers. So it was just like a really, I think, really smooth, really brilliantly done. I almost call it a masterclass in how they've been able to leverage influencer marketing and bring it into like an experiential marketing space.

I think they just did it really, really well. 

[00:25:56] Tommie: I didn't even know all of this other stuff was happening. For me, it was just, I saw Ellen Iverson and I went back to the website. Yeah, no, I get 

[00:26:06] Kai: it. But that's, that's, that is the stuff though, right? I agree. I agree. I'm saying that. And I'm sure they got a ton of other people to do exactly the same thing.


[00:26:16] Tommie: absolutely. It only take one. Right, right. But when you, when you take my one, that's why I'm bringing it up, right? You take my one experience and you extrapolate that out with all of these other people. And you got this whole campaign going on. I can't even imagine. And then here's the kicker. Now, Kai, after the fact, you're telling me this and my product still showed up in two days.

Come on now. Of course. Hello. In, in the midst of, I didn't even know that this was happening, but in the midst of this whole thing happening today, order's probably going crazy right now. Exactly. And my product still showed up in two days. Which tells you what 

[00:26:55] Tieron: that they got they inventory down packed.

They got they logistics down pack, they stitch, come on now. And they're able to scale on a whole nother 

[00:27:02] Tommie: level. 

[00:27:04] Kai: It's about forecasting, right? And I imagine I'm not saying, cause again, we just don't know, right? We don't know that the ins and outs of the fulfillment side for this particular brand, but I will say that they are you know, that sort of forecasting.

Is what's necessary. They probably have like some sort of forecasting strategy that can allow them to to build up a sense of inventory. They knew, okay, we're gonna be, you know, is New York Fashion Week's coming up. We've already launched this massive you know, influencer effort. We know that this is going to blow.

And so we've already in advance prepared for that. Right. They weren't just like, Oh, let's do a thing. And oh my gosh, now we're overwhelmed with, which is honestly what a lot of brands do. They do the most with influencer marketing and then they don't have anything in place in terms of like, okay, so if this blows, like what are, how are we going to handle orders?

And they just go out into the wilderness. And the next thing, you know, it's five months later and people don't have their shit. 

[00:28:07] Tommie: Well, clearly this is blowing, but my shit showed up in two days. Right. And I didn't even know. About all of this other stuff, right? So, you know, having it show up in two days, even without a campaign was impressive to me.

But now understand all of this other stuff happening and that still was able to happen. That makes it even more impressive. Not to mention the product is dope. I can't say that enough. I'm a big dude and this has been a struggle for a long time, like all my life. This has been a struggle for me to find stuff that represent my style and what it is that I want.

Cause I ain't really like a button up kind of dude. I mean, I can do that, but my typical time, like I like joggers and hoodies and things of that nature, but I don't like, I don't like sloppy looking stuff or cheap looking stuff. I want quality, you know what I mean? That type of, you know, so for it to fit me in the fit and everything like that with no quarrels.

I mean, it's just like, man, come on, man. 

[00:29:10] Kai: And that's the key. Like, to me, that's the key. I think that's when you know that you really have something special. I feel like a lot of even today, you know, in 2023 when amidst. All of these discussions around size, inclusivity and all of that stuff. I feel like there are oftentimes brands still fall short in terms of being able to create something that truly does fit everybody, right?

Like emphasis on the body. So it's like, When you do find that because I have this a similar experience again, I haven't I'm bonding thing black yet I'll probably pick something up here But but I know I've had that same experience with skins Like for me, I'm like, like I said, my waist to hip ratio is, is pretty serious.

It's above average. Right. Which means that when I'm finding like just clothes generally, if I go smaller, then it works up top, but then on the bottom, not so much, if I go larger, it works really well on the bottom, but not so much on top. And so skins created something that really does like work and flatter, you know, a number of types.

And for me. It was a game changer because I was like, Oh, really word. Okay, well, let me buy all of these in every single color because you can't find it like you know, you can't often find that kind of thing. So when, when you find I think for a lot of people who struggle with. With fit, like the moment they find something that works like it's a wrap, it's a total wrap.

And I think that actively black, it sounds like from what you're saying, that they've nailed that as well, which is really powerful and not easy to do. Cause that's the key. And that is the 

[00:30:49] Tommie: cut. Absolutely. Yeah. And again, I'm just reemphasizing to our listeners right. We understand when we say it ain't easy.

We ain't just saying it to be saying it. No. But the, we know know what it takes to do this shit, 

[00:31:03] Kai: the logistics and the intricacy. 

[00:31:05] Tommie: Which is why it's impressive. Yeah. You know, so yeah man, that's pretty dope. I love it 'cause yeah, they l t v about to be on, about to be on, about to be on on 10 over here.

'cause I'm about to rack up on me some actively black stuff. I mean, another one to marathon. I bought, I bought their products as well. Marathon. Not even on this level. No, not yet, but they got, they got, they got a couple of products that, you know, like, you know, y'all probably saw me with the Crenshaw joint on, like, I love that joint.

And then they got like these flag pants. They got a couple of good. I've bought several items from them too. And they got a couple of them that they really nailed and I've spent more money with them. I probably just spent another like 600 on their website. And I just dropped another three, 400 on actively black website just the other day.

You know what I mean? So, so I'm just now we're actively black. The reason I didn't buy so many of the items because it's. You know what I mean? I want to kind of see how it fit. Now that I know how this Wakanda athletics thing fit, oh, I'm about to go every color they got. I'm probably going to buy two of each because I might just, one might be dirty and I want to wear one again.

So I got... 

[00:32:16] Kai: No, I feel you. You know what I mean? I'm hoping that their post conversion flow is strong. That's what I'm really hoping for them. And again, I haven't gone through it. Maybe I will. Maybe I'll secret shop something and we can actually go through like the whole shebang. But like, particularly because brands that are like this, where people really get excited about how it feels, how it fits, they're like, Oh my gosh, I gotta, I gotta buy up all the things, right?

When it comes to like a really strong post conversion flow, I feel like some of those brands, they have great products or whatever, but sometimes they fall short and they fall a little bit flat on the post conversion stuff because they're just kind of assuming, okay, well, you know, people are probably aren't going to buy again for another 15, 30, 45, 90 days when in reality that May not be the case, and you should be if you have such like a cult following in particular, you should have a more aggressive post conversion flow in terms of cross cells in terms of presenting other variants of the same product because if people really love it.

you, you want to make sure that you're maximizing for sure. And I don't think brands are doing enough 

[00:33:22] Tommie: of that. Yeah. You, you hitting on some right now, cause I'm looking back at the purchase. What's the name? And I got this email to say, wow, thank you again. And there's a lot of missed opportunities in him because with marathon, what they did was they sent me the same email, but they sent me a discount code.

If I wanted to go ahead and order some most stuff. And then they gave me month, they, they curated. It's kind of like curating like other. Things that, that based on what I had bought, which is pretty decent. But when I'm looking at actively blacks right now, this is dope what I got, but they missing a lot of opportunities right now, as you talking about that, I went and pulled this up because I remember getting this.

A lot of missed opportunities right here. A lot of missed opportunities right here. 

[00:34:14] Kai: Yeah, I think I'll buy something or some things and just go through their post conversion. Maybe we can like dissect it or whatever on an episode. I think that'd be fun to do. Yeah, that'd be dope. But yeah, and send it on over to 

[00:34:27] Tommie: Lenny.

Now I would say, now I would say this, the email does recognize the fact that this is my second time purchasing from them. Oh, that's good, that's good. Does it say, wow, thank you again. Right. And in, in the head, in the first sentence of the email, nothing feels better than knowing you trust us with your business, not once, but twice.

Thank you. It means a lot. It is why we do what we do, right? So, 

[00:34:53] Kai: they've got a repeat purchase post conversion, which is good. It's that's important. You should have three. You should have a post conversion for new customers, a post conversion for repeat buyers.

And then even like a, they probably don't have like subscription boxes or anything like that yet, but though they should But then you would have like a post conversion for that too. So, yeah, I mean, I think, I think they're super dope. I think that there's probably more than one missed opportunity, but I think what they've done so far is really incredible.

And they can, they probably are leaving like a shit ton of money off on the table right now. 

[00:35:26] Tieron: What about text messages, Tommy? Did you get any texts? Yeah, 

[00:35:28] Tommie: there you go. Uh huh. Okay, get the text, but the text in the email really are the same. They're almost like exactly the same. Gotcha. 

[00:35:38] Kai: Gotcha. 

[00:35:38] Tommie: Which, you know, it's cool.

But I think there's probably a missed opportunity in that as well. 

[00:35:45] Kai: Yeah. I think with like, if you're going to go to these lengths on the acquisition side then there's definitely like, you definitely want to make sure in acquisition side. Yeah, correct. Then you definitely want to make sure that that your.

Fully capitalizing, right? That like you're achieving, you're getting as close to peak efficiency as humanly possible in terms of maximizing all of those new customers, because I'm sure they've got plenty from the show. And from all of like the social and all that stuff. Oh yeah. You're going through the bags or whatever.

Yeah, I think, I think they've got some really cool stuff. They've got something, they've got something 

[00:36:21] Tommie: for sure. I'm not going to quit. I know what I ain't questioning the quality of what they selling no more. I can guarantee you that. if I, if I like that's dope, I want it.

I'm copping it because I already got, I have the experience of knowing what their quality is. Damn near like more than what I thought it was, which is wow. Cause I just rarely see that. You know what I mean? Like the quality is the pitches. Don't even do the quality justice. Damn near like, it's kind of crazy to say that.

So their attention to detail, man, is, is incredible. So, so I can look at now through the lens of their products. I don't even have to question their quality anymore. I just have to decide, is there something I want or not? And if it is, it. And 

[00:37:05] Kai: I think the design, I think this is my prediction, right?

Hypothesis is that their design, the cut, the fabrics, all of these things were done very intentionally because they wanted to gear this, they wanted to set the stage for really strong influencer marketing, like celebrity level influencer marketing. And this is what, you know, If we ever, you know, sync up with the founder and have these discussions, I'm willing to bet that they were thinking about the marketing when they started to ideate the products, right?

And especially when they started to optimize the products. So, I'm, I'm sure I would love to have a conversation and I, I'm sure we'd probably get some of the, some of that information from the founder because. And that's, that's how you want to do it. And I think a lot of brands aren't doing that.

They're building this product or creating this product. And then after the fact, they're like, okay, well, how do I market it? Oh, okay. Well, I'm going to go to the influencers now. And it's like, but you didn't even, create the thing with influencer marketing in mind. Like where's the unboxing experience?

What are they actually going to showcase and show off to their audience? Like, how are they going to feel wearing this? Is it quality enough for you to be able to send it on over to the president of the United States of America and have him actually rock it, right? Like, and be, and willingly rock that.

Like, there's a certain level, there's a certain caliber from a product perspective that you have to be thinking about if you want celebrities all over your stuff, the way they are all 

[00:38:37] Tommie: over actively black. And real quick, look, this is not his first business either, by the way, so this. That's something to be said as well, like he has a successful business prior to actively black tracks that tracks.

You know what I'm saying? That's why I wanted to say that, right? Because everything you're saying, you know, somebody first time around might not even understand that they might not know how to think that way. You know what I mean? So that's what we're here for. That is true. But I'm saying like, I'm speaking to what you're saying and I'm giving context to it that I understand he also had a brand before this, which, you know, he made a, like, maybe he learned a lot of this stuff or made mistakes or whatever that he was able to carry over versus someone who listening to us right now are getting this game and they don't have to go through those mistakes because they can just listen to what the hell we talking about and take it.

You know what I mean? But the fact that he had a business before which is why I think a lot of these things we're saying is probably being ported over. You know what I mean? whereas most people don't have that experience and then they don't have access to people like us to put them in that type of thought process.

You know what I'm saying? So, I just wanted to point that out.

What I'm saying here too, just 

[00:39:52] Tieron: from, a again, cause I said this earlier, if you're selling a commodity. You need to use influence of marketing or some sort of superstructure, as Scott said, by superstructures, we mean. you can even see some of them used in the actively black campaign, right?

Superstructure is Malcolm X, a superstructure is the United States president, a superstructure is the Super Bowl, like all of these things are 

[00:40:16] Kai: like to be clear, to be clear, to be super clear. We're talking about President Obama, not President Biden. 

[00:40:22] Tommie: Right. Or President Trump. Right. Yeah. Let's just be clear.


[00:40:27] Kai: be clear. Which, which president? Because you're like, huh? 

[00:40:30] Tieron: But depending on what you're selling, depending on what your product is, you may want to be voted on to Biden or 

[00:40:35] Kai: Trump. Well, of course. Of course. No, I'm just saying, I'm just saying with this particular brand, I just want to be clear. Because the 

[00:40:41] Tieron: MAGA hats went platinum.

Yeah. No, absolutely. Yeah. That 

[00:40:48] Tommie: has to They might have went titanium versus diamond. Exactly. They black a hat with diamond, dog. They black a hat with diamond. But this is 

[00:40:55] Kai: a, this is a really good example though, I think, of the way in which, like every single apparel brand that I know of. That has not been put together by a celebrity, right?

Like we're like, it's not a founder. We're talking about like, just, you know, regular, regular people. every apparel brand that I've seen really, really take off. Like where their trajectory like it's just massive have been brands that stand for something. Yeah, they've been brands that have a message whether it's on the shirts themselves are on the apparel themselves, or whether it's just in terms of the actual brand and the message that they're looking to impart to the world.

They are really, really good at that. So for people who have e commerce brands that are, you know, really ambitious, and you really want to, you want to go into the stratosphere, that is going to be absolutely critical. You have to stand for something and you have to plant that flag in the ground.

And you have to make sure that it's really pervasive and really just solidified throughout the entire brand from product to experience to wherever that brand exists. That's really got to be strong. And I think both actively black did that really well. And quite frankly, the MAGA hats, I mean, yeah, that did really well too.

Right. So, 

[00:42:22] Tommie: I can imagine the president getting this product though, and happily wanting to wear it because that's the thing, right? It's like, I keep going back to the product what got me like they could not have gotten me with all of the marketing and the branding and the influencers and the this and the that, you know what I'm saying, they could have gotten me to buy.

They could have gotten me to buy, but they wouldn't get me to be the way that I am right now. Right. When I pulled their product out of that bag and put 

[00:42:52] Kai: it on. Quality is everything, bro. Like, and not just in e com. Like, in business period, your fulfillment, if your fulfillment is trash, you're not going to get traction.

And the product here, in this case, the product quality, like, their fulfillment is strong. Not even just with respect to the product quality, but obviously when it comes down to actually, like, getting the product to the customer in a timely fashion, all of that's super strong. And I keep telling brands this over and over and over again, like your fulfillment is everything.

Yes. The pro like you want the product to look a certain way and feel a certain way and all that great stuff. But like, Even from a fulfillment perspective, like the entire being really intentional, I think with the entire customer experience is really, really important. And, you know, it holds true for business as well.

I think this is why there are a lot of agencies and marketers and all kinds of people in the industry that aren't getting the level of traction or get traction and then lose it because their fulfillment is trash. And then people are not willing to tell everybody about them because they didn't get what they expected to get.

And so in the e commerce space, it's same, same thing, exact same thing. Nobody's going to be talking about Actively Black like this unless Actively Black is doing something really unique and different and interesting and special when it comes to the quality of their products, the quality of their fulfillment and everything 

[00:44:14] Tommie: else.

You know what? One of the things I was just saying was like, you know, I can imagine their influence of marketing game so much easier. Like, like, imagine you sending your product to 10 people and how many of them would actually wear your stuff and post about it. Listen, 

[00:44:34] Kai: if it doesn't look good, if it doesn't look good, if it doesn't fit well, they're not going 

[00:44:39] Tommie: to go send it out.

Ain't nobody going. Ain't nobody fucking with it. Let's just call it what it is. But I would imagine they send a product to 10 people. 10 people is wearing this. I don't know if they're going to post, but they're going to rock this. 

[00:44:52] Kai: But even if they, even if they don't post, now you see a bunch of people in the street and actively black wear billboard.

And you start wondering where is everybody get like, you know what I mean? Like that's, that's still influencer marketing. If I go out to, to an event or something and I'm rocking a certain brand, that's still influenced me. I might not post about it, but somebody is like, Oh, that's super cute girl. Where'd you get it?

That happens all the time. Yeah. 

[00:45:17] Tommie: All the time. But I'm just saying like a lot of folks think, Oh, I'm just going to send my product and you know, you got the blog posts out here, these so called gurus who talk about influence of marketing and they strategy going to tell you just find the people and send your product to them and guess what?

They got works and over the trash can with your shit. That works only for some brands. What their product do. What their fulfillment look like. 

[00:45:41] Kai: That's exactly what I was going to talk about. At the end of the day, when it comes to, because we hear it all the time, influencer marketing doesn't work. Oh, I tried influencer marketing and nobody posted about my thing.

Oh, I paid this person. All of that stuff. I'm not saying it always comes down to the quality of product, but I think that it often does. You will see higher response rates from influencers. When you've sent a product out, when I say higher response rates, I'm talking about, there's a percentage, let's say I send a product out.

I sent a hundred products out to a hundred influencers and I get. You know, 20, 20 influencers actually wind up posting about the thing, right? You can increase your chances of your, your product going to the moon through influencer marketing. If you have a quality product and a great unboxing experience, that's going to make an influencer be excited to share with their following, right?

Like if it looks amazing on them, they're more likely to, you know, post a cute video or whatever about that particular product where they're rocking it. If it looks like trash, they're not going to want to look like trash on a video in front of a million followers. I 

[00:46:55] Tommie: don't care how many tactics your influence on marketing coach tells you.

If your product is trash, your strategy probably ain't going to work out. 

[00:47:03] Kai: It comes down to, I think people don't put enough. I'm in an intention into the design. Of the product from product features down to, you know, the packaging itself, the unboxing experience, all of these things.

And I think that people really even in the marketing space, they're not really talking a lot about that. I think that there are some people, of course, we're not the only people, but I think that if you, if you take a look at the various little gurus, that. quote unquote thought leaders or whatever that are hitting people's pages and news feeds or whatever from ads, they're really focused on marketing and sales and not so much the backend, not so much the fulfillment, not so much the actual product ideation and manufacturing and that sort of thing.

And that, that right there is the cornerstone for a successful brand. It's the product. Yes. 

[00:47:55] Tommie: Hello, please 

[00:47:57] Tieron: tell me one thing that I'm saying here. That's first off kudos to everything that you said, right? And not only does the problem, we started talking about shipping out your product to influences.

Yes, you get the product and now the product is dope. But now you're like, Oh, I never heard of this brand before you click and you get to the website and the website is trash. 

[00:48:16] Tommie: Yeah. You 

[00:48:17] Tieron: now you still running into the same thing, so you need to make sure that the, what you need to make sure that through and through everything is dope.

So they get the consistency, brand consistency all the way through. You get the product. You're like, Oh, this product is dope. How come I never heard of this company before? Now you go to my, you, you mailed this to an influencer for free. Then they go to your website, they're looking at it on mobile, most likely, and they're looking at it on mobile.

They're like, Oh, this is like something from China or something like that. Like, I'm not, I'm not really planning on messing with this. So this is like some website that they didn't create it overseas someplace. I don't know if I'm really rocking with this. So just because your product was dope and now your website experience is trash.

Now people, now these influencers still aren't posting yourself because they have to in turn, if their first response, when they see your website is, this is like something that was created overseas. That's what they know that their followers are going to be saying the same thing. They got hundreds of followers and their, their followers can either be rocking with them or their followers can be showing up in the comments to be like, child, I, you know, I know you needed money, but I didn't know you needed this bad.

Like I wouldn't even trust sending my dog to this website. Like, 

[00:49:18] Tommie: so you have, you have to be conscious of these are real people 

[00:49:21] Tieron: at the end of the day. And they have all of these followers and they don't want to be trying to go back and forth with their people in the, in the comment section, which is also another reason why your fulfillment needs to be tight because they don't want their people in a comment section going crazy on the fact that, okay, the product was dope.

The product looked dope. We went to the website, the website looked dope. And then now we went ahead and bought and it's going to take us three months to 

[00:49:42] Tommie: get the 

[00:49:42] Kai: product. Like that. That's exactly what happened with fashion. 

[00:49:47] Tommie: I'm gonna leave it with, I'm gonna leave them with this, right? So some people push back might be, you know, most of them ain't going to be doing all of that.

Well, guess what? The ones who care like that, that's who will drive sales for you. They not going to drive no sales for you anyway, because the people that, that, that, that ain't really, they don't really have real influence if they don't really paying attention to the stuff and they audience pick up on that.

The ones that are going to look at all of those little things to make a decision to rock with you. When they say that to they tribe, that shit going to carry. And guess what? Your sales going to go nuts. So you do need to pay attention to these little things. And if you don't think they don't matter, cool, they'll get you a bunch of influencers who will just pimp their sales out to their audience and watch how many 

[00:50:33] Kai: sales you get.

Yeah, the devil's in the details. The devil's in the details. And I think if you can, if you can cater and please and surprise and delight, even the most discerning of your audience, right, then you've got something special and you're going to have a situation where you can deliver things to celebrities and influencers and whatnot.

And it's going to go the way it's gone for actively black. That's the key. It's really about. Not just, okay, I'm making this for women, but I'm making this for a very specific woman. I'm making this for somebody who's very discerning and who is going to be very picky and selective about what they put on their bodies and what they're, what they are being seen in, in the public eye.

That's what you should be thinking about if you're looking to go the influencer marketing route. Yeah. 

[00:51:24] Tieron: What I leave people with is Actively black is going beyond just quote unquote, your normal influencer marketing and mailing their product to people, even if they are just paying influencers.

The fact that they're actually licensing some of these licenses and doing deals with some of these estates, that's a whole nother level of influencer marketing. that's a different way to cut or that's a different strategy to even get your way into some sort of. Long term influencer deal.

So the fact that they have a deal with the Muhammad Ali estate, the fact that they have a deal with the Malcolm X estate, the Martin Luther King estate, and probably a couple of other the stakes, 

[00:52:02] Tommie: the joint, they got the Disney Disney, 

[00:52:05] Kai: which is really hard to do 

[00:52:07] Tommie: by the way, really hard to do. 

[00:52:09] Tieron: So these are certain things that I want you to kind of sort of look at too, is that they are doing things differently and it may be 

[00:52:15] Tommie: a way for you to absolutely 

[00:52:17] Tieron: license or do a deal with an estate.

Maybe there's somebody that's, you know, iconic just in your state alone that people 

[00:52:23] Tommie: rock with real hard. You may 

[00:52:25] Tieron: be able to hit them up for a couple hundred dollars. And now you're able to tie your brand to what this, you know, what this man or what this woman's brand was all about. So look at this and take away that this is even further beyond what you know, influence of marketing to be, let this expand your mind into licensing you know, doing partnerships with larger larger organizations and larger States.

And even people that's died, people are not even thinking about it anymore. 

[00:52:51] Kai: So in short, Lanny Smith. Kudos. We salute you. 

[00:52:56] Tommie: Kudos brother. You got me, you got my pocket. I'm all up in your, I'm about to be spending a lot of bread with y'all. So, so I'm going to be rocking it out. excited. And I feel like they are our new Nike.

I was like, wow. 

[00:53:09] Tieron: Oh, that's interesting. I feel like they are our Nike. 

[00:53:13] Tommie: Yeah. Well, that's what he said. He wanted to build a And that makes sense. Black version of Nike or what have you. Yeah. I can see it moving forward. I'm about to I'm just going to rock with them, man. I'm just going to rock it on out here.

Cause even Nike, like I have to buy a lot of products sometime with them to find stuff that fit me and things of that nature. So, I think they got an eye for, I would imagine they got a lot of big dudes like me that look like me. Buying from them, which is probably why the stuff is fitting the way they've done that work.

They trying to, you know, everybody, you know what I mean? And 

[00:53:48] Kai: also, if you think about it, I mean, a lot of their influencers and the people that they brought into the fold from an influencer perspective are athletes. So it's gonna, which, which most of them are black men, right? Tall, like strapping black men.

So, so, you know, it, it. Completely makes sense. Again. They've designed for their audience, right? Like they've designed for the most discerning of these various segments. And I think they've done it really quite well. So 

[00:54:17] Tommie: they all the way up in my pocket right now. Kudos. I hope y'all keep it up because I'm, I'm a super fan.

I'm an ambassador. I'm a, Whatever the superlative words that you call it. I'm one of them, which are now. So, so y'all got me for life. As long as y'all keep up the work that y'all keep and don't, please, please don't spoil it because I'm super, super crunk. About actively black right now, is a long term, lifelong scenario.

[00:54:45] Kai: Yeah, I think, I mean, I haven't bought anything from, from them yet, but I, I'm gonna give them a shot and fingers crossed. I'm very picky though. I'm very, very hard to please. So maybe we'll do an update episode or something. And I'll I'll give you, especially the ladies of our, of our listenership.

I'll give you all the skinny. 

[00:55:04] Tommie: Please, please leave us, please leave us some reviews. You know, please leave those reviews. 

[00:55:08] Tieron: Please hit us up on all our social media channels, letting us know what you want to hear. Cause we definitely want you guys as 

[00:55:14] Kai: feedback. Yeah, absolutely. thanks everybody for listening.

You know, if this has been valuable. Like Ty said, definitely subscribe leave us a review. They really do help. And we'd love to hear from you. So, you know, talk to us. We talk back. I think if you'd like to dive deeper into any of the topics we've covered here, we have a brand new podcast discussion lounge on Facebook.

check that out. You can find that at www. facebook. com slash groups slash scaling uncensored podcast. 

[00:55:43] Tieron: Order. Go to Facebook and search Scaling UNC Podcasts podcast. There 

[00:55:46] Tommie: you go. There you go. We'll be right there. I like plan. And 

[00:55:50] Tieron: we're gonna be broadcasting live not only here but also in the group.

So an hour after, after our broadcast, we'll be live to answer any questions that may come up. So you really wanna have, have that back and forth. Beat us over there. Yes sir. Hi, y'all. Alright man. Bye y'all. 


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