You’ve heard the phrase “We Full,” when it comes to the city of Atlanta. The company behind the popular t-shirts and hoodies with that phrase on them has expanded what originated as an online business to the Atlanta Beltline. Grady Baby Company & Apparel gear is now available at one of the customized container stores on the Beltline as part of the Beltline MarketPlace initiative.
This opportunity, which began in July, allows for an already thriving business to reach customers that may not be aware of Grady Baby’s popular Instagram account of the now iconic “We Tired” hoodie or “Normalize Black Wealth” t-shirts. The Beltline has over 2 million visitors per year, so there are plenty of chances to meet new people and further expand the four-year-old brand, according to India Albritton, who along with her husband Terrence Albritton, owns and operates the brand.
The Atlanta Voice dropped by the Beltline one busy weekend to talk to Albritton about why she and Terrence began the business, what they hope to leave for their three children and how many versions of the “We Full,” t-shirts and hoodies they see floating around these days?
The Atlanta Voice: What made you guys want to start the company in the first place?
India Albritton: We wanted to have a legacy to leave our children (Alexander, 25, Carrington, 12, Channing, 11). You can’t leave your career or your degrees to your children, but a family business gives them the opportunity to have a work ethic, to see how things go behind the scenes. They get to see the whole process.
AV: Having a family business, getting everyone involved, tell me the thinking behind that?
Albritton: I think it’s a good thing because children need to learn how to appreciate what they see their parents are doing. They have their own logins to the cash register, so they get to see the money move. They also get to see what the overhead is. Everything costs and that’s the part they get to see. It’s not just selling t-shirts.
AV: How different has it been to have an online store versus a storefront?
Albritton: You have to have enough operating income, enough merchandise. You have to keep this stocked versus you have sometimes a two-week turnaround time to mail things out online. It has been a learning experience.
AV: Are all of the items available online available for purchase in the Beltline store?
Albritton: The things that we have in the Beltline store, a few of them are online, but most of the things available online are exclusive to online, and some of the things at the Beltline store are exclusive to the Beltline. [Editor’s Note: There is a “This is my Beltline” hoodie available at the container store]
AV: Being a Black-business owner on the Atlanta Beltline, how does that feel having a piece of that?
Albritton: It’s a great feeling, we appreciate the opportunity. This pilot program was geared specifically towards six Black businesses, so to be chosen and to be out here is an amazing opportunity. There is a lot of camaraderie, the people that love around here have been very welcoming to the businesses here.
AV: With the holidays coming up are you expecting an uptick in foot traffic and hopefully sales?
Albritton: I hope so, I know the weather is changing and to me that’s a good thing because now it’s not as hot. I hope people come and purchase a hoodie and shop with us and support us. It’s been great. A lot of people who support us will stop in front of the store and let us know they have our shirt on.
AV: Last question, what would you tell your younger self about starting a business?
Albritton: I would tell my younger self to pray, to be patient and to be intentional. Believe in yourself and bet on yourself. When you get into a business like this it can be discouraging because everybody makes t-shirts, but you have to believe in what you are doing and in your opportunity. It’s been great for us, so what everybody else is doing doesn’t matter with this. It’s not an overnight thing.