Entrepreneurs jump. They jump when conditions might not be perfect, and most of us haven’t even gotten close to the edge.
One of those jumpers is Cody Sudmeier. At age 30 he dove into his savings and ventured into an industry completely foreign to him. He founded All The Above, an urban fashion line, in part because of an unfulfilling shopping trip for a designer T-shirt. Here’s how Cody describes it:
“I loved the quality and edgy feeling of many of designer tees, but I didn’t like a lot of the negative imagery on the shirts. Clothing is such a form of self-expression, and I couldn’t relate to a lot of the designs.”
So Sudmeier risked personal funds and staked a huge-learning curve to start a clothing line dedicated to high quality and to subtle positive meanings behind the designs.
Then, he raised the ante — and the complications — of his new business. Sudmeier decided to bet on the whole “doing good while doing well” theory. He started an ATA Gives line, in which his team designs urban fashions for nonprofits and all the net proceeds go back to the charitable organizations.
Sudmeier’s company motto is “Express yourself, change the world.” ATA’s urban fashions with a deeper meaning can be found at www.ata-clothing.com. And Sudmeier says they are always looking to connect with new nonprofits as part of our ATA Gives line.
“Sometimes you have to jump, and grow wings on the way down” is one of Sudmeier’s favorite quotes and captures his very approach to business and life. “It describes why I went forward in starting ATA clothing even when so many people doubted that we could pull it off,” he said. “I knew I wasn’t fully ready for what was ahead of me, but sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and go for it. “
You can join ATA in supporting Sox Place, a daytime drop-in center for street youth, by purchasing the Sox Place Tee (shown above). Many of the kids who visit have been abandoned by parents/guardians, some are victims of the foster care system, and most have been tossed aside by society. Staff and volunteers spend their time interacting with the youth and building friendships as a hot meal and a safe place is provided Monday through Saturday.