The 17-year-old senior at Westside High School launched his denim line, Don’t DENiME – pronounced “Don’t Deny Me” – in early June.
“I love fashion, and I had this old denim shirt that I couldn’t fit into anymore,” Rickey said. “I decided to bleach it. It came out really, really well, so I put it on Facebook to sell it. Within three minutes of putting it on Facebook, somebody wanted to buy it. That sparked something, and I said, ‘Maybe I can do this as a business.’ ”
Upon graduation, Rickey hopes to attend Savannah College of Art and Design and major in fashion marketing and management. Until then, he will be making his custom designs at home. The orders are steadily coming in, he said.
Since launching in June, Rickey has sold $840 in merchandise. He spends two hours a day on the business during the week and four hours each day on weekends, but he’s not worried about juggling high school and the business.
“I’m a very involved person ... I participate in activities, and I’m in the community as well. I’m pretty good at balancing it all, so I’m not afraid,” Rickey said.
Rickey set up his Web site, dontdenime.bigcartel.com, by himself and takes photos of his merchandise and posts them. Customers pay for items through a PayPal account.
“That was very easy. I’m good with technology,” he said.
His denim line includes “Betsy’s Flag” shorts with the stripes of the American flag on one side and stars on the other.
There’s also a bow clutch purse, and Gold Aztec shorts, which have gold triangles painted on one side with fabric paint.
“My aesthetic is vintage. Recycled, not necessarily worn. Really chic and modern,” Rickey said.
His grandmother, a professional seamstress, is his mentor and taught him how to sew.
He plans to sell his merchandise at farmers markets and participate in this year’s Young Artist’s Market at Arts in the Heart of Augusta.
He also is in the process of presenting a fall collection.
“Long term, I hope to cultivate my business into something more,” Rickey said.