It was a random dialog in a grocery retailer that modified the course of Pierre Robinson’s profession, and his life. Right this moment, not solely is he an entrepreneur along with his personal firm, his 10-year-old son additionally has his personal enterprise, and the 2 not too long ago collaborated on an initiative to advertise generational wealth in Black and brown communities.
Robinson, who lives in South Berkeley, initially deliberate on changing into a medical assistant however, at some point, whereas ready in line at Pak ’N Save Meals in Emeryville, he started chatting with a pair of older girls who requested him about his future plans.
“I mentioned medical assistant as a result of lots of people used to say that, however they may inform I didn’t need to be that,” he mentioned. “They requested me what my hobbies have been and what I used to be good at, and steered I focus my efforts there.”
So Robinson mirrored on what he actually needed to do along with his life.
“I requested myself, what am I good at? I like trend and garments,” mentioned Robinson.
That perception led Robinson, in 2011 when he was 21, to launch Breaking Heart Clothing, a streetwear model that began off promoting T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts however has expanded to supply a various vary of merchandise, together with letterman jackets, hashish merchandise, and skate footwear.
Robinson mentioned the corporate’s title was impressed by a music. “Wiz Khalifa had a music known as Black and Yellow and it had a line — ‘No love for ’em’ breaking hearts’— and that line simply stood out to me,” he mentioned.
“I attempt to have a model for individuals aged 16 to 50 — for the brand new college and old style. That’s what it actually means. Lots of people suppose it means it has to do with breaking hearts, however it’s about bridging the brand new college and old style collectively. I attempt to do completely different designs that each generations would put on.”
Robinson, who attended Jefferson Elementary, King Center Faculty, and Berkeley Excessive, credit Berkeley and its tradition for exposing him to range and creativity at an early age, which has influenced his method to creating items for his model.
After the Breaking Hearts model launched, Robinson was in a position to capitalize off of the viral consideration his garments attracted when native artists would put on his clothes of their rap movies. Followers would depart feedback asking concerning the model.
“On the time, I used to be so new, I didn’t have an internet site, it was simply offered by means of phrase of mouth,” mentioned Robinson.
Lengthy-time buyer Brianna Sheppherd realized of the model by means of one of many music movies and has seen the Breaking Hearts model evolve through the years. “His product is getting higher. The standard of the fabric and designs are higher as properly,” she mentioned.
A enterprise born of physician’s recommendation and the price of video video games
Robinson’s 10-year-old son Dmir is an entrepreneur in his personal proper, having had a profitable smoothie firm for the previous 4 years. The concept for the enterprise originated from a dialog father and son had about the price of video video games, in addition to from a well being test up with a health care provider.
“We had gone to the physician’s and so they mentioned he must eat extra vegetables and fruit, and smoothies was how we acquired him to eat spinach with the pineapples and strawberries,” mentioned Robinson. “He likes video video games, and so they usually are $60 a chunk, so I instructed him he’s going to must work for them, I needed to work for mine. So he was like, I could make smoothies.”
Dmir began Dmir Smoothies when he was 7 years previous.
Dmir, who earlier than the pandemic made his smoothies at a business kitchen, makes a speciality of mixed-fruit smoothies and milkshakes. He has developed a social-media following for his smoothie enterprise and infrequently receives direct messages from younger individuals throughout the nation in search of recommendation on the right way to begin a enterprise as a younger entrepreneur.
When requested about what it has been prefer to see Dmir’s development over the previous three years, Sheree Martinez, Dmir’s mom and Pierre’s fiancée, mentioned: “Since Dmir began his enterprise I noticed a serious enchancment in his communication and confidence. My hope is for him to proceed along with his model and begin to department off into different concepts. I positively need him to be artistic and to be himself, and to have the ability to inspire different youngsters.”
A father-son collaboration with a well timed message
Now father and son are becoming a member of forces to work on Generational Wealth, a set of hooded sweatshirts. The mission is greater than only a artistic enterprise for the duo — they’re additionally hoping to convey a well timed message. Within the aftermath of the George Floyd protests, and given the financial impacts COVID-19 had on minority-owned companies, extra consideration has been paid to racial inequality and eliminating disparities just like the racial wealth hole. By means of this collaboration, Robinson hopes to boost consciousness about wholesome monetary practices, whereas additionally educating monetary wellness classes to his son.
“People who know me, know that I preach generational wealth, belief fund accounts, and life insurance coverage. We need to encourage the Black and brown group to get a head begin in life,” mentioned Robinson. “Each greenback you spend once you purchase certainly one of Dmir’s smoothie juices or a chunk from the Generational Wealth collaboration, it goes in direction of his belief fund account. I need to put him ready the place he can get a head begin when he turns 18.”
“It was an incredible collaboration for a father and son to do, and the which means behind it,” mentioned Martinez. “Extra of our technology is pushing that situation, and persons are understanding how essential generational wealth is.”
Trying forward, now that society is opening up once more from the pandemic, Robinson and Dmir hope to attend extra occasions at Lake Merritt to advertise the Breaking Hearts model and Dmir’s smoothie enterprise. As well as, Robinson is seeking to mentor different budding entrepreneurs getting into the streetwear enterprise.
“I need to work extra with up-and-coming manufacturers. After I was arising, I actually didn’t have assist, individuals didn’t need me to lend a serving to hand,” he mentioned.
And, as a father, Robinson plans to proceed educating Dmir the values of working for oneself and correct monetary planning.
“I need to educate him that if he works exhausting now, in a while in life he’ll perceive that you just actually gained’t must work for no person,” he mentioned.