When Clifford Leonard says “do rich things,” he hopes people take it as an inspiration to do more than seek money. He hopes the message, as promoted in his new Santa Monica-based clothing line, prompts locals to seek happiness and lead a good life.
The company, called Do Rich Things, came to life in 2013 when Leonard decided to follow his dreams and pursue a career with the goal of fulfillment rather than finance. He was making ends meet as a production assistant on film and television work when he decided to go into fashion.
“(Production) was something I was doing that I didn‚Äôt want to do and fashion has always been my thing,” he said. “I just woke up one day with the idea to start a clothing line, that was ‚ÄòDo Rich Things.‚Äô My partner, Ed Powell, was in and out of jobs at the time so he came on board.”
The partners are area natives that attended Lincoln Middle School and then Santa Monica High. They both worked in retail fashion during their high school/college years and Powell said jumping into the business was a natural evolution of their lifestyle.
“I honestly joined the company because we‚Äôve always tweaked our own clothing to feel more us, and in return noticed that others seemed to follow suit ‚Ä¶ it was a no brainer,” said Powell.
The company promotes itself as a style brand that has made substantial inroads into the fashion community in its first year. The brand features big, bold lettering on the front and attractive color schemes. Grammy winner Nelly, comedian Dave Chappelle, hiphop legend Ras Kass, DJ Trauma of V103 radio in Atlanta and DJ Prophet of L.A. radio station 935 KDAY are among those the company lists as customers. The brand‚Äôs adjustable, flat brimmed hats (known as snapbacks in the industry) have been featured in hip-hop magazines.
Leonard said they are working to make the hats available in more retail stores and customers can currently find them at The Ave in Venice (64 Windward Ave.)
He said the company name is about recognizing positively in your life, not just an exaltation of money.
“It‚Äôs about what‚Äôs rich to you,” he said. “It doesn‚Äôt have to be about money, having a great day is rich ‚Ä¶ it has to do with enriching one‚Äôs soul.”
Leonard said being from Santa Monica is an essential ingredient in their business plan.
“For me, I was born and raised in Santa Monica and my parents weren‚Äôt that rich but to me, I never knew growing up, it didn‚Äôt seem like I didn‚Äôt have enough,” he said. “To me I felt like I grew up in Santa Monica and I had a great life. To me, living in Santa Monica is rich, it‚Äôs nothing to do with the money. The weather‚Äôs great, we have a beach. It‚Äôs good.”
Powell said the sense of place that is baked into their work will hopefully appeal to consumers who want to connect to the vibe of Santa Monica.
“Growing up in the Venice/Santa Monica area influenced not only our fashion style, but our everyday life being. Most people I know from this region are the most laid back, easy going, carefree people I‚Äôve come across, which also ties back to their fashion choices,” he said. “Hopefully our style sense/fashion style catches on in areas that may necessarily not have a beach in reach, however appreciate traits and characteristics that has shaped all of us.”
Leonard said the company wants to bring Santa Monica to the clothing world.
“I wanted to do something to represent my city. It‚Äôs a small beach town and growing up, I wanted to be that guy. I love clothing and fashion and to be that guy to come out of Santa Monica with a clothing line, that puts Santa Monica on the map.”
The company is active on social media and can be found at instagram.com/dorichthings and twitter.com/DoRichThings. Leonard said they are also on Facebook and that a redesigned company website will launch in the near future at dorichthings.com.