Antoine Taylor; Water for the World
Today we’d like to introduce you to Antoine Taylor.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
My entrepreneurial story begins at Saint John’s University in the midst of my college years. With my time spread thin between classes, football practice, and maintaining a social life, I was struggling to make ends meet. This motivated me to begin offering laundry services to students on campus. After some time doing my peers’ laundry, I decided to make a change, and my side hustle developed into an idea to sell customized socks. I gained rapid success from this endeavor and from that point on, I pursued a career in designing, manufacturing, and selling streetwear. With this new business venture came the birth of our viral t-shirt which was featured in the 2020 BET awards. The success of my streetwear line combined with my heart for helping others manifested into what is now, The Cause International. The Cause is an organization that has its own streetwear line and also provides custom sports gear for athletic teams across the nation. Not only have I created an apparel brand, but I have also established a non-profit within my company. In the last 5 years, my team and I have donated more than $80,000 to underprivileged communities around the world and over $20,000 to inner city high school students. This is just the beginning of my mission to help those in need and inspiring the collective to pursue their dreams.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
The greatest challenge I experienced along this journey was when I lost my entire team when COVID hit. During that time, I felt I was failing as a leader in the businesses, but instead of falling off track, I decided to stay focused on the big picture. At first, I didn’t have enough courage to take ownership for the company because I felt I couldn’t do it on my own. I later realized, it was all leading me to face myself and reevaluate the way I was operating as a business owner.
I overcame this by taking my fearful thoughts and emotions and turning them into knowledge in order to make more business oriented decisions. It allowed me to find balance, and through this, I learned the power of boundary setting. If they didn’t embark on their own journey’s, I would have never had the opportunity to embark on mine.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
I believe that the thing that sets me apart from other competing companies is the fact that I genuinely care about the quality of the products my clients are receiving as well as the quality of the experience they get when they order through us. I want to make sure they are taken care of and that I do my best to serve each and every one of my customers. I also deeply care about the lives of those we donate to. I do what I do so that I can give to those in need. I have given over $80,000 to communities that need it before I’m giving to myself. I know that my time will come, but my top priority is serving my clients and serving the world.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
My advice would be to go invest and lose some money. I know it might not be what an entrepreneur wants to hear, but it works. This doesn’t mean to throw your money into an empty investment, but doing something like a jump start marketing campaign. I designed, printed, and handed out thousands of free t-shirts across LA which led to my design going viral. I gave out 100 free t-shirts, found 100 people I didn’t know, and had gave them all a free photoshoot. Staying relevant and making connections is absolutely necessary to growing your business.
I would also advise that you don’t continuously ask what people like about your company, but rather, ask what they don’t like about your company or product. Being open to constructive criticism gives you the opportunity to focus on the things that need fixing while building on the things that are working.
I’ve also learned that relationships are highly more valuable than money is when building a business. Relationships are what lead to the money. Meet people, collaborate, be open to new ideas, work with people you see potential in. Not everything is about the dollar, but about the connections you make along the way.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
To me, success can only be measured by how many people you bless. We are only here for a certain amount of time and we never know when God is going to call us home. So success is measured in what you did with your time on Earth- not only achieving things for yourself, but what you give to others.
What’s next for you?
In the next year, the goal is to commence The Cause’s world tour. Our plan is to raise 3.5 million dollars which will allow us to travel to 7 different countries; giving us the means to instal water filtration systems and give back to the communities in need. As of now, the tour is scheduled to start in 2024, but I believe we can kick off by year 2023. Not only do I plan on starting our world tour in the next year, but I also have plans for helping high school seniors from a graduating class by gifting them with free laptops as they embark on their college journey’s. We also want to help the seniors with the process of sports recruitment and gaining scholarships from colleges, all for free. If they’re not playing sports in college, the plan is to offer them guidance in figuring out what path they should take according to their interests and passions.
Overall, the biggest part of our plan is to stay true to our mission statement. It’s essential that we continue to prioritize making a difference, to continue in making the impossible, possible. The most important thing for me, is that we stay true to who we are and what we do; which is helping the people. The legacy I want to leave is one where I change the world through giving, and to inspire the people to pursue and give back to their own cause.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
Anyone can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, through my instagram, or call me on my work cell +1(818)802-2762.