Anthony Leffelaar is an experienced entrepreneur when it comes to successful clothing brands. Now he’s starting a new brand through Teespring and raising funds for an important cause in the process!
Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Anthony Leffelaar and I was born in New Zealand. I left home at the age of 15 and moved to Whistler, Canada where I worked as a professional snowboarder. In 2009 I founded a company called Vivo Headwear and after a few years had some investors come on board to upscale the brand. After that I got a one-way ticket to Central America where I’ve spent the past 4 years working as a DJ. During that time I met my beautiful wife who is now working with me to bring Young Gunz Clothing & Co Latin America to life.
What’s the story with your new Young Gunz brand?
Young Gunz Clothing & Co is a lifestyle brand; it’s all about surf, skate, snow, music, art, etc. Our goal is to help thousands of children across Latin America gain access to clean drinking water, food and education. We are currently partners with WaterAid America and 10% of all profits go towards clean drinking water in remote communities in Latin America. I have personally visited these places before and it’s heart-warming to see the positive impact our business can have on these communities.
“It’s heart-warming to see the positive impact our business can have on these communities.”
Where does the brand name and design inspiration come from?
I came up with the name when living in Central America; my friends and I are a group of young entrepreneurs with endless opportunities around us…so we called ourself the “YOUNG GUNZ”. I am very lucky to have close friends who wanted to get involved in the project— they started sending me ideas and designs on a weekly base to help kick start the dream. We talk most days about future designs and there are many products currently in the works.
What will the proceeds go towards?
10% of our proceeds goes to WaterAid America to fund their work in Latin America. We are working daily towards future objectives—I’m sure we will be able to donate funds towards food and education as well in 2017. We’re just getting started.
What would you like your brand to achieve long term?
As much as possible! My drawing board is full of ideas and photos. Teespring is my top choice as a base platform for our online sales worldwide; we’ll definitely use the new storefronts to sell products across Latin America and the USA. My top target markets right now are Nicaragua ,Colombia, Costa Rica, Miami, New York.
Once we’re established, I plan to visit the communities we’re donating to myself and hand out clean drinking water and food and give out some of our products to the children in Latin America—they are the inspiration for our brand.
Anything else you want to share with the community?
Thanks to my wife Bethania for helping me with this project and Teespring for enabling us to kick start the brand! I’d also like to thank WaterAid America and Corey Sheppard as well for all the cool ideas! I look forward to a big and bright future working with you all and I hope you guys out there can come support a great project and help us kick start the dream.