Success Story: ZAMFORIA, clothing company

When you are doing something good, something is right. Then, when you factor in “LOVE” and use that as the main ingredient in what you do, you’ll flourish. I do not mean this  just as a metaphor to life but I mean this with a young clothing company whose mission is to do good and spread love. Take Zamforia.
ZAMFORIA, a clothing company based in Quincy, MA was founded by brother-and-sister team, Jonathan Mendez and Olivia Chamberland in 2009. They started selling their graphic t-shirts out of their jeep and pretty soon, they found themselves selling more than they could imagine.
What really caught me and brought me to feature their story was their multicultural concept of designing global shirts  and teaching us (the consumers) how to break cultural barriers from our traditional thought of a certain culture. Take for example their take on the Filipino word for love, pag-ibig - wouldn’t this catch your eyes as well?
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To learn more about them and purchase your t-shirts, see their contact information below and be sure to spread the word about them.
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ZAMFORIA
188 Sea Street
Quincy, Mass 02169
p. 617.934.1844
www.TheZAM.org
Alpha: Tell us about ZAMFORIA – and why did you name it as such?  
Jonathan: ZAMFORIA is  a clothing company and retail store.  We started by making t-shirts that said love in different languages and have extended the line to follow that same positive message.  At it’s core is a community and mentality.  I named it ZAMFORIA after we had been selling the shirts for awhile- originally it was called “It Say Love” but I wanted something more encompassing of our company and the things we wanted to do.  I created the name spontaneously in the car one day.  I was on my way to a meeting to name the company and I wanted to get one before I got there.  It need to describe how I felt and how I viewed the world at the time.  It needed to sound cool and look cool written on a t-shirt.  It needed to have a nickname if possibly.  It needed to be beautiful.  And that’s how it came to be.  I think it describes everything for me: it’s the moment in time that make life, life and is the connection between everything.  Like, do you know your favorite part of the movie that touches your soul?  That’s an example of ZAM.  It’s life!
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Alpha:I love your concept of printing T-shirts with Love in different languages. But, why “love”? What was your inspiration behind it?  
Jonathan: When I was a freshman in college, my sister sent me a little drawing on a piece of paper.  It was our family drawn as stick figures playing guitars in our living room.  It was silly and sweet.  For Christmas I didn’t have money so I redrew the picture, added color and “love in different languages”.  She loved it and weeks after I gave it to her she suggested we made t-shirts.  She got me to draw a logo and our first tee and she started selling them to her personal training clients.  One thing lead to another and we had a fun little company.  Love worked because it was positive.  But, from the start, I knew it wasn’t the cliche pink-fluffy-hearts-girly love, but that the company should embody a more realistic, more human, less silly idea of “love”.  How else are you going to get people to connect to it?   It has to be real.
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Alpha: So, how did you start it? Please walk us through your first set of challenges in setting up the business.  
Jonathan: We started with no money.  No connections.  No celebrities.  With more work than you think.  A lot of passion.  Years of learning.  Thousands of hours of research.  Hard work.  Asking for help.  Helping others.  Picking the right people to trust.  Keeping it real.  Remembering that your business partner is your sister and you owe it to her to.  Listening to a lot of music.  Staying in on the weekends.  Learning to go out on the weekends.  Learning from the mistakes.  Gaining experience and knowledge and know-how.  Reading.  Thinking outside the box.  Trying to stay grounded.  Remembering these acronyms: “K.I.S.S.” and “P.M.A.” which mean “Keep It Simple, Stupid” and “Positive Mental Attitude”.
Alpha: When you design a certain shirt, where do you get the ideas? What has been the most popular shirts’ design?  
Jonathan: Our designs come from everywhere.  I do a lot of research.  I read a lot of history.  We have great people tell us some really good ideas.  Creativity is endles.
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Alpha: I am sure you had your shares of challenges, but what has been the most rewarding and inspiring moment in your business?  
Jonathan:  The people are the most rewarding.  We’ve made a lot of friendships.
Alpha: Do you think profitability is the core measurement of success? Why and why not?  
Jonathan: Money lets you do things and it’s important.  Success is a broad word with plethora of meaning.  The core measurement of success is attaining your goals.  Many of our goals have been reached but there are still many more to be reached.  And to reach them, we need to make money.  It helps us do the things we want to do.
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Alpha: What is your vision of ZAMFORIA?
Jonathan: ZAMFORIA to me, as an idea, is a connection to life.  ZAMFORIA as a company is a connection between people- a community.  If you see someone in a ZAM shirt, you know you probably have something in common with them- and that’s important to be reminded of.  It’s how friendships are built.  The goal/vision is to bring people together and promote a good message to a lot of people, to help make a lot of excellent art with a lot of great people, and to have fun with people around the world, all in the name of ZAMFORIA.

To read other inspiring Success Stories, click here.

 

Alpha Sanford is the creator and editor of Aspire.Motivate.Succeed! a personal development website which aims to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life through its bi-weekly articles. She interviews and features inspiring individuals whose extraordinary work impact the lives of many people in the community. You can contact her via facebook, twitter, or email if you know of anyone whose story is inspiring and worth sharing.