Before they started their business, Christopher McMichael and Maurion Gaines came together over their shared passion for music.
In 2012, Chris was working security and kept hitting ceilings as he tried to advance in his career, so he decided to pursue his clothing line full time. “My clothing line had already had some success. I knew that for it to grow to the next level, I needed to open a store to better serve the business,” remembers Chris.
At the same time, Maurion was doing well in his job as an electrician and wanted to invest some of the money he had saved into something he was passionate about. As Chris shared his desire to take his clothing line and expand into a retail store, Maurion knew it was the right time and opportunity he’d been looking for. Together, they launched Threadz Culture + Fashion, a retail store featuring the best streetwear and urban clothing styles in Oakland. They offer custom, limited run pieces, enabling their customers to build a look that is truly unique.
In 2017, Chris and Maurion joined Main Street Launch’s Entrepreneur in Residence program to grow their knowledge and expertise on the business side of their venture. “We jumped in head first when we opened the store, learning the ins and outs as we went. Now we have a better understanding about why things work and how to take advantage of resources, focusing on longevity,” explains Maurion. “We really understand the details of our business,” adds Chris. “We understand the numbers, our financials, and we know how we can pay ourselves from the business.”
Chris and Maurion credit the Entrepreneur in Residence program with helping them get organized. “We are connecting the day-to-day operations with our vision for the business and foreseeing what roadblocks might come up in the future,” says Maurion.
“The Entrepreneur in Residence program is a real program, and Main Street Launch genuinely cares about our business,” says Chris. “We now have resources and more insight into our business, and everyone here is personable and available to help,” says Maurion.
Threadz is located at 5319 Fairfax Avenue in Oakland’s Fairfax District. Drop by to see the recently added big and tall section for men and the newly redesigned women’s section, which now includes plus size options! In addition to their existing merchandise, you can also get personalized pieces created. Check out their website to learn more and attend their next event.