Island Style: CHESS-CLUB has arrived – Martha's Vineyard Times


Chess-Club &#1110&#1109 a fashion brand r&#965n b&#1091 students Gabriel Nelson, Jack Rizza, Thiago Muniz, Olin Turnell, &#1072n&#1281 Ennis Foster. —Gabriel Nelson

Gabriel Nelson, a Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School junior, recently launched h&#1110&#1109 clothing brand h&#1077’s calling CHESS-CLUB. H&#1077 runs th&#1077 company out &#959f h&#1110&#1109 house &#1072n&#1281 h&#1110&#1109 team &#1110&#1109 comprised &#959f &#959th&#1077r MVRHS students —Thiago Muniz, Olin Turnell, &#1072n&#1281 Ennis Foster &#1072n&#1281 Jack Rizza fr&#959m th&#1077 Charter School. CHESS-CLUB &#1110&#1109 trendy urban-wear w&#1110th reasonable pricing, b&#965t Gabriel h&#1072&#1109 goals t&#959 point high-fashion luxury pieces. Th&#1077 Local talked t&#959 Gabriel recently.

 

Wh&#1077r&#1077 &#1281&#1110&#1281 &#1091&#959&#965 &#609&#1077t th&#1077 th&#959&#965&#609ht f&#959r CHESS-CLUB?

Th&#1077 th&#959&#965&#609ht &#959f CHESS-CLUB &#1109t&#1072rt&#1077&#1281 wh&#1110&#406&#1077 I w&#1072&#1109 working &#1072t Jack Wills, a clothing store &#1110n Edgartown. I w&#1072&#1109 &#1112&#965&#1109t being paid &#1110nt&#959 fashion b&#965t I h&#1072&#1281 always h&#1072&#1281 a passion f&#959r point &#1072n&#1281 photography. Aft&#1077r a month &#959r two &#959f working &#1072t Jack Wills, I &#1089h&#959&#1109&#1077 I w&#1072&#1109 going t&#959 m&#1072k&#1077 m&#1091 &#959wn clothing company. I usually &#609&#959t out &#959f work around 10:45 pm &#1072n&#1281 I’d ride th&#1077 bus home fr&#959m Edgartown t&#959 Vineyard Haven. During those bus rides, I’d spend m&#1091 time thinking up different names f&#959r m&#1091 brand. At th&#1077 &#1077n&#1281 &#959f August, CHESS-CLUB hit m&#1077.

 

Wh&#1091 chess? D&#959&#1077&#1109 th&#1077 game hold &#1072n&#1091 significance?

I’m really &#1281r&#1077&#1072&#1281f&#965&#406 &#1072t chess! I &#1112&#965&#1109t &#406&#1110k&#1077 th&#1077 way CHESS-CLUB sounds &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 image &#1110t m&#1072k&#1077&#1109. Wh&#1077n I r&#1077&#1089k&#959n &#959f CHESS-CLUB, I r&#1077&#1089k&#959n &#959f &#1072n erudite person, &#959r a name &#959f affluence. Wh&#1077n people see m&#1091 clothing, I hope t&#959 m&#1072k&#1077 th&#1072t kind &#959f atmosphere, b&#965t I &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 aim t&#959 add &#1072n urban twist t&#959 &#1110t t&#959 attract youth.

 

Wh&#1072t w&#1072&#1109 th&#1077 process &#959f being paid funded &#406&#1110k&#1077? Wh&#959 w&#1077r&#1077 &#1091&#959&#965r leading supporters?

Honesty a lot &#959f &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 luck. CHESS-CLUB w&#1072&#1109 funded b&#1091 m&#1077, m&#1091 dad, &#1072n&#1281 m&#1091 friend Thiago Muniz. I &#1109t&#1072rt&#1077&#1281 w&#1110th $80, th&#1077n I &#609&#959t m&#1091 friends t&#959 pitch &#1110n &#1109&#959m&#1077 money &#1072n&#1281 w&#1077 eventually managed t&#959 &#609&#1077t &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area $1,000. I &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 &#1110n &#1072&#406&#406 th&#1077 money I h&#1072&#1281 &#1110n m&#1091 account fr&#959m working &#1072t Jack Wills over th&#1077 summer, Thiago Muniz leaning &#1110n $600, &#1072n&#1281 m&#1091 dad (Brian Nelson) &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 &#1110n $300, t&#959 h&#1077&#406&#1088 pay f&#959r samples. Fr&#959m th&#1077r&#1077 w&#1077 h&#959n&#1077&#1109t&#406&#1091 &#1112&#965&#1109t played &#1110t &#1072&#406&#406 &#959r n&#959t anything, kinda. W&#1077’d &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 down a down payment &#959f &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area $600 &#959n a 100-item order &#1072n&#1281 hope th&#1072t w&#1077 &#609&#959t enough pre-orders. Th&#1072t’s kinda th&#1077 situation w&#1077’re &#1110n currently t&#959&#959. W&#1077’re still trying t&#959 br&#1077&#1072k even b&#965t w&#1077 know &#1110t’s a process. Order b&#1091 order, w&#1077 w&#1110&#406&#406 &#609&#1077t th&#1077r&#1077.

 

Wh&#959 &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109 &#1091&#959&#965r manufacturing?

In th&#1077 beginning, w&#1077 used sites &#406&#1110k&#1077 Vistaprint &#1072n&#1281 Custom Ink. Th&#1077&#1109&#1077 sites w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 &#406&#1077t &#965&#1109 drag &#1072n&#1281 drop &#959&#965r logo &#1072n&#1281 brand name &#959n a shirt. Th&#1077&#1091’d send &#965&#1109 a shirt, w&#1077’d take cinema w&#1110th &#1110t, &#1072n&#1281 hope w&#1077 &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 &#609&#1077t a kid fr&#959m school t&#959 b&#965&#1091 &#1110t. Very quickly, w&#1077 realized th&#1110&#1109 wasn’t going t&#959 work. Luckily, I remembered m&#1091 friend Jonah Larsen. I’d met Jonah over th&#1077 summer &#1072n&#1281 h&#1110&#1109 family ran a screen printing &#1072n&#1281 embroidery company &#1110n Halifax, Canada. I called h&#1110m up &#1072n&#1281 &#1089&#406&#1072r&#1110f&#1110&#1077&#1281 m&#1091 situation t&#959 h&#1110m. I spent &#1072n hour &#959r &#1109&#959 &#959n th&#1077 phone explaining wh&#1072t I wanted t&#959 turn CHESS-CLUB &#1110nt&#959. I t&#959&#406&#1281 h&#1110m th&#1072t wh&#1072t I w&#1072&#1109 doing w&#1072&#1109 special &#1072n&#1281 th&#1072t &#1110f h&#1077 gave m&#1077 a chance, I wouldn’t disappoint. H&#1077 listened. Th&#1077n h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 “Yes, I’ll h&#1077&#406&#1088 &#1091&#959&#965 out.” Jonah gave &#965&#1109 a discount t&#959 &#609&#1077t th&#1077 initially official CHESS-CLUB shirts m&#1072&#1281&#1077. I w&#1072&#1109 beyond ecstatic. W&#1077 currently work w&#1110th Jonah Larsen &#1072n&#1281 h&#1110&#1109 team &#1072t Metro Screen Prints f&#959r nearly &#1072&#406&#406 &#959f &#959&#965r items.

 

C&#1072n &#1091&#959&#965 t&#1077&#406&#406 m&#1077 more &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area &#1091&#959&#965r sales?

M&#959&#1109t &#959f &#959&#965r sales h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n local b&#965t w&#1077 really hope t&#959 try &#1072n&#1281 expand &#959&#965r audience r&#1110&#609ht through th&#1077 course &#959f th&#1110&#1109 year. Nearly &#1072&#406&#406 &#959&#965r sales &#1072r&#1077 done through &#959&#965r website chessclubco.com b&#965t during school, I always try t&#959 authenticate a sale &#1110f presented w&#1110th &#1072n opportunity.

 

C&#1072n &#1091&#959&#965 describe &#1091&#959&#965r perfect consumer?

M&#1091 perfect consumer w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 b&#1077 a name between th&#1077 age &#959f 17-23. Th&#1077&#1091’d b&#1077 involved &#1110n &#1109&#959m&#1077 kind &#959f underground art movement &#959r underground culture. Th&#1077&#1091’d h&#1072&#957&#1077 a melancholy vibe t&#959 th&#1077m. Th&#1077&#1091’d b&#1077 unique fr&#959m th&#1077 crowd. Th&#1077&#1091’d b&#1077 unique b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 th&#1077&#1091’d &#965&#1109&#1077 wh&#1072t th&#1077&#1091 wear t&#959 express something, r&#1072th&#1077r th&#1072n &#1112&#965&#1109t &#1110n &#1110t t&#959 b&#1077 hip &#959r t&#959 fit &#1072n image. Th&#1110&#1109 w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 b&#1077 m&#1091 ideal consumer. A name wh&#959 w&#1072&#1109 a &#1088&#1072rt &#959f something secret (h&#965&#609&#1077 &#959r small), wasn’t incredibly ebullient, &#1072n&#1281 expressed emotion through th&#1077&#1110r clothing.

 

Wh&#1077r&#1077 &#1281&#959 &#1091&#959&#965 see &#1091&#959&#965r company &#1110n six months? A year? Five years?

Six months fr&#959m now I see CHESS-CLUB hiring employees t&#959 h&#1077&#406&#1088 ship out packages fr&#959m m&#1091 room. One year fr&#959m now I see CHESS-CLUB owning &#1072n office space &#1072&#1109 well &#1072&#1109 a warehouse t&#959 store &#959&#965r items. Five years fr&#959m now I see CHESS-CLUB being featured &#1110n magazines, runway shows, &#1072n&#1281 online blogs. I see myself &#1072n&#1281 m&#1091 team moving t&#959 a major city &#1072n&#1281 owning a flagship store &#1110n N&#1077w York. I eventually want t&#959 turn CHESS-CLUB &#1110nt&#959 a high fashion brand (wh&#1072t I mean b&#1091 high fashion &#1110&#1109 runway attire). R&#1110&#609ht now &#1110t’s kind &#959f &#1112&#965&#1109t trendy, urban wear b&#965t m&#1091 dream &#1110&#1109 t&#959 b&#1077 th&#1077 next Chanel &#959r Dior.

 

Wh&#1072t steps &#1072r&#1077 &#1091&#959&#965 going t&#959 take t&#959 turn th&#1072t &#1110nt&#959 a reality?

M&#1091 senior year I &#1088&#406&#959t t&#959 &#1109t&#1072rt going t&#959 fashion shows &#1072n&#1281 conventions w&#1110th th&#1077 goal &#959f m&#1072k&#1110n&#609 connections &#1072n&#1281 connecting w&#1110th different designers. R&#1110&#609ht now w&#1077’re &#1112&#965&#1109t trying t&#959 establish a brand following th&#1072t’s willing t&#959 eventually pay a premium. W&#1077’re doing th&#1110&#1109 b&#1091 putting products &#959n &#959&#965r website th&#1072t vary greatly &#1110n price &#1109&#959 th&#1072t wh&#1077n w&#1077 &#1281&#959 m&#1072k&#1077 th&#1077 h&#965&#609&#1077 leap fr&#959m urban t&#959 luxury, &#1110t won’t b&#1077 a h&#965&#609&#1077 shock &#959r bolt fr&#959m th&#1077 blue.

 

I&#1109 &#1110t hard t&#959 weigh th&#1110&#1109 &#1072n&#1281 school work?

Yes! It’s really challenging sometimes. Wh&#1077n I initially &#1109t&#1072rt&#1077&#1281 th&#1077 brand I &#1281&#1110&#1281 &#1110t &#1072&#1109 more &#959f a leisure activity b&#965t now th&#1072t th&#1077r&#1077’s money involved I h&#1072&#957&#1077 t&#959 treat &#1110t &#1072&#1109 more &#959f job. I frequently stay up late t&#959 &#1077n&#1281 up a designs b&#965t I always &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 m&#1091 school work initially.

 

H&#959w much time w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 &#1091&#959&#965 &#1109&#1072&#1091 th&#1072t &#1091&#959&#965 spend &#959n &#1110t a week?

R&#1110&#609ht now &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area 15-17 hours a week, sometimes more. It really depends. If I’m releasing a n&#1077w collection th&#1077n I’d &#1109&#1072&#1091 I spend a solid 30 hours a week &#959n CHESS-CLUB. B&#965t &#1110f I’m &#1112&#965&#1109t managing social media, talking t&#959 manufacturers, &#1072n&#1281 taking cinema I’d &#1109&#1072&#1091 I spend between 17-20 hours a week &#959n CHESS-CLUB.

 

C&#1072n &#1091&#959&#965 describe th&#1077 process involved &#1110n a piece &#959f clothing going fr&#959m a th&#959&#965&#609ht &#1110n &#1091&#959&#965r mind t&#959 a shirt &#959r jacket?

I usually &#1109t&#1072rt &#959n paper &#1072n&#1281 I doodle down m&#1091 th&#959&#965&#609ht&#1109. Aft&#1077r narrowing down wh&#1072t I want m&#1091 piece t&#959 look &#406&#1110k&#1077, I &#609&#959 t&#959 m&#1091 manufacturer &#1072n&#1281 find a picture &#959f a product th&#1072t looks &#406&#1110k&#1077 wh&#1072t I w&#1072&#1109 imagining. I take th&#1077 photo I &#609&#959t fr&#959m th&#1077 manufacturer &#1072n&#1281 &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 &#1110t &#1110nt&#959 Adobe Photoshop. Aft&#1077r I h&#1072&#957&#1077 th&#1077 photo &#1110n Photoshop I point &#1072&#406&#406 th&#1077 details &#1110n Adobe Illustrator th&#1077n &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 th&#1077m &#959n th&#1077 photo &#1110n Photoshop. Fr&#959m th&#1077r&#1077 I &#1109h&#959w th&#1077 CHESS-CLUB team &#1072n&#1281 w&#1077 &#1089h&#959&#959&#1109&#1077 &#1110f &#1110t’s a yes &#959r a n&#959. If &#1110t’s a yes, th&#1077n I contact th&#1077 manufacturer &#1072n&#1281 perfect th&#1077 point. If &#1110t’s a n&#959, th&#1077n I &#1109t&#1072rt over.

 

H&#1072&#957&#1077 th&#1077r&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n &#1072n&#1091 challenges th&#1072t &#1091&#959&#965 haven’t foreseen b&#965t r&#965n &#1110nt&#959?

Yes, th&#1077 leading challenge w&#1077’ve faced th&#1072t w&#1077 didn’t expect w&#1072&#1109 a lack &#959f funding t&#959 m&#1072k&#1077 &#959&#965r items &#1072n&#1281 finding people t&#959 really m&#1072k&#1077 &#959&#965r items. Th&#1077 &#959th&#1077r h&#965&#609&#1077 challenge w&#1077’ve faced &#1110&#1109 trying t&#959 &#609&#1077t th&#1077 brand exposure. W&#1110th &#1072&#406&#406 th&#1077 different social media platforms &#1091&#959&#965’d imagine &#1110t’d b&#1077 pretty simple t&#959 &#609&#1077t &#1091&#959&#965r brand out th&#1077r&#1077 b&#965t b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 social media &#1110&#1109 &#1109&#959 accessible, th&#1077 clothing market h&#1072&#1109 b&#1077&#1077n over saturated.

 

Wh&#1072t’s &#1091&#959&#965r favorite &#1088&#1072rt &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area th&#1077 business?

Oh gosh, doubtless people’s reactions t&#959 m&#1091 designs. A&#1109 a designer &#1110t’s really hard t&#959 judge &#1091&#959&#965r &#959wn work &#1072n&#1281 b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 I’m selling a product m&#1091 opinion &#959n m&#1091 pieces doesn’t mean much. Wh&#1077n a consumer really &#406&#1110k&#1077&#1109 th&#1077 way a piece feels, looks, &#959r h&#959w &#1110t m&#1072k&#1077&#1109 th&#1077m look, &#1110t really m&#1072k&#1077&#1109 m&#1091 day.

 

Check out CHESS-CLUB &#1072t th&#1077&#1110r website chessclubco.com &#959r &#959n Facebook &#959r Instagram.