Director, HERES2COOLSTUFF, Inc.
What up, friend?
I'm so glad you stopped by! H2CS means so much to me. "It all started with my love for cool clothes" & the cool people who wear them.
Here's how one idea to pass the time grew into a business to unite all the things I love.
Heres2CoolStuff (H2CS), opened January 19th, 2015. We provide trendy new and recycled apparel for men and women. In addition to the new & recycled one-of-a-kind finds, H2CS is the home for local designers and brands, as well as a number of designs under their own line, H2CS Collective.
We hope to inspire and offer individuals positive experiences in confidence, style, art, self-worth, and creativity.
Here's a little about me. My name is John W. Graves III, born and raised in Philadelphia. I grew up loving the arts. After graduating from high school, I went on to study Theatre, Dance, and Education and once out of college, I eventually ended up in the classroom.
While teaching, I started a T-shirt line with the words, "I am Peace" written across the front. The idea was this - if the kids are wearing shirts with the words "I am Peace" on them, they might begin to act accordingly. It worked, but mainly only when they were wearing the shirts, lol. Be that as it may, the parents, staff, and community loved the shirts so much, I had to make more. I began selling them at events, out of my car, out of my house, you name it. I couldn't keep up with the demand, so I ended up putting the idea on a halt and focusing on my career in teaching.
During state-wide testing, my duty was to monitor the hallway. This meant I'd have to sit for hours while students tested. During this time, I began reposting pictures of cool clothes on my personal Instagram page. I eventually moved those pictures to a new IG page and called it Heres2CoolStuff (H2CS). I created it to showcase people, clothing, and quotes I admired as “cool”, unique, and/or inspiring.
People had always admired my "eye", style, and my ability to find unique, one-of-a-kind items. This afforded me opportunities to work on a few projects with friends in fashion, styling, and curating. By this time, my close friends and I were pros at thrifting and spent the last decade perfecting that hobby. So when "life" happened, I thought to use all of these things to my advantage as a last resort.
To make it plain, I wasn't happy with my life, I was content with the things I had, but felt trapped and very dissatisfied with myself. I ended up resigning from being a full-time teacher and a graduate program leading towards my Doctorate. It was a decision I didn't make easily because of the time I invested and all I had learned, but I resigned and walked away from it all.
In efforts to make a living, I grabbed all the strength and creativity I could muster up and opened a clothing store to sell both recycled and new items that were unique, "cool", & stylish, much similar to what I had been posting on my Instagram pages. It was a best friend of mine (Lydia Azondekon) that said to me, "Name it Heres2CoolStuff", which was brilliant because I had already established a following on Instagram and these themes translated perfectly into my vision at the store.
I began to design, touch-up, alter and create clothing items to sell alongside the items of friends and family who wanted to join in. Over the course of a few weeks, I rented a space downtown, Philadelphia, gutted it out, cleaned it up, painted the walls, put up my art, and worked to build something my community could be proud of.
January 15, 2015, I opened the doors to Heres2CoolStuff Clothing Store. Wow, is all I can say. It's been quite the journey, but I wouldn't trade it for a thing. I love every moment of creating, learning, designing, curating, talking and engaging with customers, and other designers and artists. It's a creative and inspiring way of living and at Heres2CoolStuff, I get to give that gift away in the space, our clothing, our messages and themes, and our service.
I truly hope to inspire and offer individuals positive experiences in confidence, style, art, self-worth, and creativity. If you're ever in town, stop by 1214 South St. and if you're far away, take a look around our site to experience the same vibes that keep us going.