NXL21 Charlotte engaged in a session of Q&A with the CEO of HTDOGWTR- Jeffrey Lee. This clothing line is fresh and innovative, designed specifically for the “individual.” “My inspiration is to push people to be individuals. You set your tone. Make your own statement. I only make a certain amount of pieces,” said Jeffrey Lee.
NXL21 Charlotte: When did you start your clothing line HTDOGWTR?
Jeffrey Lee: I started my clothing line in 2006.
NXL21 Charlotte: The name of your clothing line is interesting. What’s the story behind the name "HTDOGWTR?"
Jeffrey Lee: When I was younger I grew up around my grandpa and grandma. They used to take us to the park and my grandpa would cook on the grill. He used to give us a hotdog and tell us to go to the water fountain. That’s where the name came from. I was trying to come up with a name for my line and that’s what stuck. People said it was something I couldn't do. There was a challenge within the name itself.
NXL21 Charlotte: What kind of products do you make?
Jeffrey Lee: I started out making women's handbags. But now HTDOGWTR carries hats, shirts, dresses, jeans, eyewear, etc. for men and women- a full line.
NXL21 Charlotte: When did you become interested in creating clothing?
Jeffrey Lee: I’m an only child and grew up with a single parent. My mom used to make my Halloween costumes. I learned how to sew at the age of five.
NXL21 Charlotte: You don’t create clothing based on the seasons -spring/summer and fall/winter- like most fashion designers. How often do you produce new clothing?
Jeffrey Lee: I design in collections and it depends on how I’m feeling at the time. I don’t believe in the ordinary trends of fashion. My clothing is not for the average person. Don’t let the clothes make you. Make the clothes. Fashion is about expression.
NXL21 Charlotte: What fashion trend do you foresee becoming popular soon?
Jeffrey Lee: Raccoon tails and fox tails. People are wearing them on bags, hips, and belt loops. I saw it during New York Fashion Week.
NXL21 Charlotte: What are some setbacks that you have encountered?
Jeffrey Lee: One setback is that I'm doing it by myself. I'm the jack of all trades. Marketing. PR. I have one person who does all the characters and his name is 2E.
NXL21 Charlotte: Have you had any recent initiatives?
Jeffrey Lee: I sponsored the clothing for the whole second season of Fantasia Barrino's show on VH1- Fantasia For Real. Also, we're coming out with Fantasia's tour shirt.
NXL21 Charlotte: Where can customers purchase your clothing?
Jeffrey Lee: They can purchase products online at www.htdogwtr.com or at boutique Boris and Natasha in Charlotte.
NXL21 Charlotte: What is your favorite experience with NXL21 Charlotte?
Jeffrey Lee: The networking event downtown at Aquavina. It was last year.
NXL21 Charlotte: Lastly, do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs?
Jeffrey Lee: Stay focused. Don't give up. Keep pushing. Some things may not go your way but keep pushing.
Be sure to follow Jeffrey Lee on twitter @htdogwtr.