This week I talked with Romteen Farasat and Ryder Turner, founders of a local apparel and design company based out of Austin, about how their business got started and its place in a highly competitive arts-focused economy.
Both native Austinites, Turner and Farasat have sprung out of what has become a flourishing graffiti and urban arts community in the Austin area. Places like Castle Hill and organizations such as SprATX show just how much urban art has taken hold of Austin. Even over the last ten years, businesses all over the Austin area have ditched their plain paint walls in favor of commissioned murals from local artists.
Despite the explosion of the Greater Austin area caused by an influx of young professionals from cities with equally rich arts communities, the two entrepreneurs say they feel secure in their mission and in their message. Rather than try to resist outside influences in an effort to promote Austin culture, Farasat and Turner choose to welcome it.
“Austin definitely is large enough and has enough people in it to facilitate all of the different people moving here and trying to do the same thing that we’re doing,” says Turner. “The graffiti culture in Austin is ridiculous. Every day, I see a new name up on a wall that’s like, ‘Oh, I haven’t seen you before.”
“It’s a collaboration,” adds Farasat. “As long as it stays true to our values - that is to stand out; that is to express ourselves in our truest manner - to remain genuine, that’s really what’s going to put us ahead of any, you know, “competition,” you may call it. “