We had the opportunity to chat with Sam Keeley from Crossed Dagger Apparel, thanks so much for taking out the time! Could you tell us a little about Crossed Dagger and how you got started?
Crossed Dagger Apparel started during the first week of lockdown, Sam was thinking of a way of bringing in a bit of an income during the lockdown as he couldn’t carry out his usual work.
It then sprung to both of us (Sam and Courtney) that we had nothing to lose really by perhaps making into an actual sideline business selling custom streetwear clothing.
We are both creatives in our own careers and life. Sam is a Tattoo Artist and Courtney is a Hairdresser. We love art and we love being creative and using these skills to achieve an end goal. No matter how big or small that may be. Teamed together with this we came up with some great ideas for the brand, all the artwork is currently created by Sam with the input of Courtney’s thoughts. I hope in the near future to be able to get other artists involved doing collabs with the brand.
The name of the brand comes from names and symbols used within Sam’s life, his mum’s maiden name is Cross, plus he always signs his artwork with a dagger of which he also has tattooed on himself, so from this we came up with the name Crossed Dagger Apparel.
It was on May 2, 2020 that Sam’s mum had sadly passed away, From which we will now carry that name down through this brand as a token of remembering her. This will always be a solid root spiraling on from her life and will go on to represent her traits and attributes as a person but through the brand.
What was the main inspiration for starting Crossed Dagger?
It’s mainly to have a personal achievement of our own, to be able to produce products that people are enthusiastic about, and to hopefully grow into a brand that people recognize in the street.
The tattoo influence is clear to see in your design work, what other places do you draw influence/inspiration from?
We draw a lot of inspiration from different cultures, symbolism, nature, music, and even influences from the car scenes. There is a lot of well-established brands out there that we have both supported over the years ourselves and its always been something in the back of my mind that I’d like to do along the side of whatever career I ended up doing.
Since the whole brand got started basically as a result of lockdown, how has reality matched up with your expectations at the start?
We never expected it to grow as much as it has so far. We managed to reach 2.5k followers in the first 10 weeks of opening the brand, especially throughout the uncertain times we’re in currently. We’ve also sold out of multiple items we’ve launched which were produced by Pins and Knuckles. We’re constantly bringing new ideas to the table and with input from our great reps and customers, we’ve been able to bring out multiple products in such a short space of time.
What advice do you wish you had on day one?
To get a bigger inventory of stock and multiple products with different designs/colours. Also to prepare for things to not go 100% smoothly at the start.
With social media being such an important marketing tool, could you explain your approach towards it? Have any tips for our readers?
We aim to use sensible hashtags and ad’s that speak to the audience we would like to reach. Also, we try to be as interactive with our followers as possible with the opportunity for their input into what they may or may not want to see. At the end of the day, it’s a product for the people.
What has been the biggest win or most positive experience since starting out?
Definitely having people recognize our clothing in the street. And having orders through word of mouth, plus selling out of 5 different products already.
Have you made friends with any other brands that you’d like to share with our readers?
What plans have you got for the rest of 2020?
We’re expanding into children’s and women’s wear, we’re also looking into more accessories. Unfortunately, we have been held back from getting more involved within the car scene, but we would love to have stalls at shows.
Expanding our audience elsewhere, this could be a job for 2021 but tattoo conventions are part of our lifestyle anyway, so why not have both businesses there?
I’m sure a lot of people have put plans to start new ventures on hold because of lockdown, have any words of encouragement for them?
My main piece of advice is there is never a right time, so just go for it. Your advantage right now is that people are at home on their phones killing time, so ads and engagement are at a high.
Where can people find your latest products?
The best way to view and purchase our products is through the website, however, we show sneak peeks on Instagram and Facebook. We may even start branching out to other parts of social media, for example, TikTok haha.
We just want to say a thank you for featuring us on your blog and to Pins for always being so helpful with our ideas and requests!
Love from us all at CDA!