South Side Teens Launch T-Shirt Design Company ‘Kommod’

 Kehinde Hampton, left, and Matthew White, right hold up one of their designs for Kommod.

CHATHAM — Two friends have combined their creativity and business-savvy minds to launch “Kommod,” a T-shirt design company.

Matthew White, 19, of Chatham and 19-year-old Kehinde Hampton of South Chicago got the skills and the push they needed through an After School Matters summer program.

The college-bound teens both graduated from Olive Harvey Middle College High School, 10001 S. Woodlawn Ave., this year. White will be attending Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and Hampton will go to Clark Atlanta University.

Hampton said he has always had an interest in designing, so when his principal told him about the six-week entrepreneurship program, he decided to sign up.

“I figured that I might as well use that program to help me get started,” he said.

He described himself as a creative person and said most of his attention has been on his music.

White and Hampton partnered up during an activity where they had to make one design. They went above and beyond and left that day with seven, as well as a thought out business plan and logo.

White said he wanted to find ways to make money this summer before leaving for school. Starting a business was the solution, he said, adding that he has always enjoyed drawing and sketching just as much as playing football, basketball and soccer.

They learned how to customize their designs through a software program and then transfer the design to shirts.

Right now they still have access to their school’s basement, which is where the equipment is located. The young entrepreneurs said they hope to save enough to purchase their own in the future.

They are designing T-shirts and crop tops, and they plan on doing the same for sweatshirts and hoodies during the winter. Even with both soon being in different states, they said the plan is to continue the line. They want to sell shirts in bundles, which would be great for family reunions and camps, they said.

Hampton said he wants this to turn into a well-known label.

“The ultimate goal is to have a clothing line, a company that’s recognized throughout communities and Chicago, like any other large label,” he said. “You hear about Ralph Lauren and all these teens get excited, so I want people to see our clothing in that same type of way.”

The shirts come in black, white, grey and orange. One has an image of a black woman with the words “Khosmic Melanin” above her head. Another reads “Kay N Day: hear my voice, see my face, feel our presence.” That shirt has blue and orange African print.

“I did that because even though we’re still American citizens, we’re still Africans,” Hampton said about black people.

The other thing is that some non-black fashion designers look towards

African culture for inspiration, but don’t credit them, Hampton said.

“We go to a lot of major companies for fashion, but it’s like they use our style to change it and then sell it to us,” he said. “I figured that if our style is so beautiful and so great then we might as well make our own to sell to us.”Their designs can be seen on Instagram.

[Source:- DNA info]