Daemen Student Launches Clothing Line: Why Not Dream LLC

By Sarai Skerritt, contributing writer

The long few years that COVID-19 was prevailing were troublesome for many students, especially those who were close to finishing their high school career. 

However, not everything was bad for some. Why Not Dream LLC was born out of the COVID pandemic, a clothing line formed for people who wanted to support a Black-owned business. 

Noah Fulton, a third-year entrepreneurship major at Daemen University is the creator of this clothing line. 

Fulton decided to form this brand back in 2020 to help foster an environment of love and harmony. One of his passions has always been fashion, and that started back in elementary school. 

“Honestly, if people weren’t so harsh to me back when I was a fourth grader, I probably wouldn’t have cared about fashion at all. So thanks to those people,” Fulton said.

“I originally drew up the idea of this brand back in 2018 when we first saw the massive Black Lives Matter protests begin,” Fulton said. 

Although there was a chance for him to start the brand when he first thought of it, along came a better time to release such an idea. 

During the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, Fulton came to the decision to put his idea on the front line and emerge as a beacon of support for the movement. He, along with many other local businesses, rose in solidarity with the BLM movement hoping the government would provide social justice. 

“The brand name was actually originally LVH which stood for love versus hate,” Fulton said. “I thought it was clever because it was such a monumental moment for everyone where there was so much love but equally as much hatred in the world.” 

The very first piece that was designed for this brand was a plain black shirt that had a heart with the letter ‘vs’ in a heart on the front and the words “Love vs. Hate” on the back. 

 As time went on, Fulton changed up the brand. 

“I knew that I wanted this business to be more than just a BLM statement. I wanted it to become something I created and for it to be recognized as such,” he said. 

The name was changed from Love Vs. Hate to Why Not Dream LLC in 2023 and officially became an LLC in the same year. Rather than completely scratching the previous name, he made it into a subsection. 

Fulton didn’t start this without completely on his own though. His mother was one of the greatest helps there was when he first started. 

To make the clothing, he had to first buy samples of them to see how they would look before selling. 

“My mom told me that I shouldn’t be putting my money into it. She wanted me to get the money from the people interested in buying my clothes first,” he said. 

She wasn’t wrong. Fulton said that he lost a lot of money by doing it his way because people, who once said they were interested, backed out when they were asked for payment. 

“I do not think that he necessarily failed when he first started. He just wanted to do things his own way and he learned a lesson from it,” said Angela Farrell, Fulton’s mother. She believed in her son’s willingness to create something for people even if he didn’t receive the same love and respect he put out. 

A year later, Fulton began to change the way he ran his business. One of his friends from high school also had their own clothing line and he leaned on them for help.

“At one point I was feeling extremely discouraged, and it still happens to this day,” Fulton said. “I have so many people that say they love and support me but when it comes to supporting my business they act differently.”

Fulton moved on from the black shirt and began to create sweatshirts with a new design: cupid’s bow and arrow. 

“The actual drawing of this design was extremely difficult because you have to make sure that you can see all of the facial features are distinct and won’t look weird when printed in puffy paint,” he said. 

Even though thinking up designs is difficult for him, Fulton said the toughest part about doing this is the selling. 

He shares a group of friends with someone else who has a clothing line, and the same enthusiasm isn’t shown for him. 

“I think it’s actually crazy that people can say they like my clothing designs but not truly show it,” he said. 

When Fulton would drop clothing, the group of people would text him “good job,” “loving it” and other things like that. However, when the other brands dropped clothing the friend group would immediately post it everywhere and buy the clothes. 

“I would never hate on my friends, but I think that their loyalty doesn’t always show,” he said. Some of the people that buy the other friend’s clothes, Fulton has known longer, and he doesn’t think that it’s fair. 

However, this didn’t stop him from his passion. He still made clothes and soon enough, received recognition in the local Buffalo area. 

In March 2023, Fulton was invited to the Empower716 Young Entrepreneur Program award gala. This award gala showcased many kinds of businesses and skills that were around Buffalo. Everyone there was under 21, and the majority were people of color. 

“I was actually one of 12 people that won an award under the Entrepreneurs of Color category,” he said. 

Fulton was put up on a billboard around the Buffalo area and won a $500 stipend for the growth of his business and was honored by the mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown.  

“I wasn’t able to make it there, but I was so proud of him because he didn’t give up even when it was tough,” Farrell said. 

Fulton had let the people back home know about his achievements and some of his closest friends had nothing but positivity to show for him. 

Jordan Mack, a childhood friend of Fulton, said he was so proud that he decided to help him on his journey as an entrepreneur. 

“I wanted him to have the funds to keep going so I gave him a good amount of money to help with it, and I’m glad that he’s still putting his mind to use,” Mack said. 

Since the awards show, Fulton has dropped a new design of hoodies. The first one came on a black hoodie that zips all the way to the hood. On it are the words “Love vs. Hate” on the front and on the back is a drawing of Ghostface from the movie “Scream.” 

The writing came in multiple colors like green, yellow, and most popularly, pink. Soon he expanded this to a gray hoodie and is in the works of making more. 

As of March 2024, Fulton has started to make a new design under the same subsection. He himself is not an artist but draws up mock drawings to test on his friends. His good childhood friend, Channing Howard, is one of those people.

“I’m a self-taught artist, so I know it’s really difficult to draw something that you know people will be wearing,” Howard said. “I’m always proud of Noah because I know he puts out his best ideas and makes them into something.”

Right now, Fulton has taken a break from selling clothes so he can focus on his schoolwork. 

“I think that this break is kind of necessary because my major is 100% the reason why I am as successful as I am now,” Fulton said. “The workload is tough, but I take what I learn and apply it to what I have running now.”

Fulton said his current classes are what helps him manage his business in a more proper manner than before. 

“It’s no easy task to run a business while also being a college student,” Fulton said. “I have to worry about things like the amount of time it’s going to take to have my clothes made, creating new items, all while keeping up with schoolwork.” 

“I take inspiration from my friends,” he said, which is what sets him apart from others. 

Fulton is a strong believer that he doesn’t want to create something that only he enjoys. To make sure that does not happen, he asks the people he’s around what they would like to see on the clothes they wear. 

At one point, Fulton did want to look for a business partner, so he wouldn’t always have to rely on the people around him but soon took the thought back as he knew that this isn’t something that everyone would want to do. 

“I think my biggest inspiration to keep going myself is the fact that there are people out there who enjoy what I do,” he said. “Keeping them proud is my main goal at the end of this.”

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