Q&A | Talking business and community with multi-talented entrepreneur, Alex Dav
A man of many skills, Antwaun Alexander Davis, also known as Alex Dav, has been contributing to his community for the past several years, and doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon.
The Flint, MI native has been creating clothing with uplifting and often critical messages since 2017 via his company, Alex Dav Clothing. His “Black Privilege” tee is a fan favorite with “Black Excellence” as a close runner-up. His more recent release, an exclusive t-shirt with “Vote or STFU” boldly displayed on it, encouraged people to get to the polls this election year.
Aside from clothing, he's also known to make a mean taco with his pop-up food business, Tacos by Twauny Lo, that's been well-received by a slew of satisfied supporters.
In our Q&A with Alex, we shared some laughs and learned more about his entrepreneurial endeavors, his love for Flint, the importance of making your voice heard and much more. Keep reading to get "the goods" on Alex Dav.
The GOODS: Alright, first things first, let us know something. We know you have a clothing company, but would you consider yourself a clothing designer?
Alex Dav: "I wouldn't say I'm a full-on clothing designer. I work with my brother, Jordan Munerlyn of Euro Effex, who produces my clothing. I mainly come up with the idea of a design and he will actually bring the design to life, he’ll bring it into fruition for me. He's very creative at what he does, I just tell him what I envisioned. I do try to draw a little bit of the idea or give him a picture of what I'm seeing with the design message, and he will put the art together."
TG: Your “Vote or STFU” t-shirt is simple and straight to the point but also sends a message. What was your mission behind the message?
AD: “There were so many people that were saying they weren't voting, but those same people always have something to say about what's going on. If you’re not voting, you are refusing to use your voice. I think it’s really important to vote. A lot of people think it’s about voting for the president, but it’s more about local city and state issues that impact us more, or at least just as much as national elections. We have to really get out and see what’s going on instead of just complaining and not doing anything about it. Get out and vote and try to make your voice heard.”
TG: Are the shirts still available for purchase although the election is over?
AD: “I think the shirts are still pretty valid after the election, it probably won't be as popular, but it's always valid to me. Anything that I create, I feel is valid or important, if it means something. It's a positive message, and it's not just like a season or holiday-type of deal for me. It's not like, “okay, after November 3rd, it's not gonna be on the shelf.” It will always be available to purchase. Voting will always be valid.”
TG: We want to touch on your love for Flint and the overall community. When would you say it formed?
AD: "That's a good question. I think it has always been there, but I became fully aware of it when I was just becoming an adult when I graduated college in 2015. I discovered that I had a lot of love for where I'm from, where I've been, and where I'm going. I honestly always had love for the city of Flint because it’s where I grew up; it's been good and bad to me, but I learned that you got to take the bad with the good. When I was graduating college, in my senior year, I had more pride for my city because I got to look at things in a different spectrum, a different view. I was accomplishing something, but I couldn’t forget what I'd been through to accomplish that.
I remember around that time during the water crisis, I read an article about Brandon Carr and what he was doing for the city, and I actually drove past Doyle-Ryder Elementary School where he was giving out water and money. I literally started shedding a tear, and I don’t really cry too much. I try to be strong, but I was thinking like, man, they really poisoned our babies, our kids that are so innocent. That really struck a nerve for me. That’s when I realized that I really love the city and kids in the city."
TG: When did your work in the community and entrepreneurship begin?
AD: "I've always worked in the community. Community is big to me. I started working at a grocery store when I was 16, so that was a small way of serving my community, and I met a lot of people. I graduated from college with a criminal justice degree, but I've always done more social work. My jobs have consisted of social work more than criminal justice, servicing youth and people that are on the streets, at-risk of being homeless, things of that sort.
I came in contact with a lot of friends throughout the city that were doing different things like my brother Jordan Munerlyn of Euro Effex and James Thigpen Jr. of Eight One Zero.
When I linked with Jordan, he was working out of a business called the BIC (Business Investment Coalition) that was full of positive people, positive vibes, and everybody in there was doing their thing with their own businesses. That was about four years ago. Me and Jordan just hit it off and I started giving him ideas for shirts I wanted to wear. He encouraged me to start selling the garments that I was coming up with for myself. I decided to try it out and I did like four shirts in October 2017.
I started selling food about seven years before, when I was working at a grocery store. Everybody always loved my tacos. Well, mainly the girls I was dating back then! (laughs). I started selling my tacos at work to co-workers and they loved them. I then started selling the tacos out of my apartment and the first day was crazy! I got so much support."
TG: What advice would you give to someone looking to contribute to their community the way that you have?
AD: "Just put your business out there. Put your ideas out there and help people. I think it has to be in you, to be genuine, to be to be caring, because I've always got those types of compliments. Even when I was a kid, I've always got, “Oh, he's such a sweet young man.” I feel that has to be in you. You really have to be caring, you really have to be kind, and it has to come from a genuine place. Whether it be volunteering your time, donating clothing, food, hand warmers, stuff that helps people, you really have to be genuine. So, if you want to do anything to contribute to and give back to the community, whatever you do, please be genuine with it."
TG: Any shoutouts?
AD: "Shout out to Jordan Muneryln and to the BIC (Business Investment Coalition). Shout out to James Thigpen Jr, he designed one of my logos. And shout out to mom dukes, she definitely helped me in the kitchen. My whole family helped me in the kitchen, including my brother and my lady. Shout out to Shayla Etc. for my flyers and other graphics as well as Darell and JoJo, my former photographers. Oh and RJ’s Fried Thangs. And shout out to everybody that has ever supported me. Shout out to my co-workers. I don't call them my employees, they’re my co-workers because we all work together as a brand. That's how I look at it. I'm no better than them. I just happen to have an idea and I lead. You can call me a leader, but don't call me no boss. Oh, and shout out to Oaklin, man! I like what y’all are doing with this series. Thank you for the opportunity!"
To stay up to date with Alex Dav, follow him on Instagram at: @alexdav810
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