Infinite Expression Apparel is an Orange County/Los Angeles based brand specializing in limited quantity designs & 1 of 1 clothes, creating a rare catalog with an equally unique style. Their 1 of 1 Items are handmade during the week in Sweatshop-Free Orange County by Josh Lobb, a cool dude who just likes creating. He's been doodling and making shirts/accessories since high school, and taught himself how to sew. Artists & Fleas sat down for a chat with this 1 of 1 kind of guy.
How long have you been creating and how did you get your start?
I've been drawing ever since I can remember, but in middle school I started drawing different clothing designs in class, and started drawing my doodles on shirts. It wasn't until the end of high school that I started to get my designs printed but ever since then i've been working at it. Listening to different musicians and looking up to different artists really inspired me to take it all seriously.
What's your most memorable experience as a vendor?
The first times I really started to kill it at my weekly markets, and realized i could actually start to make a living off of my passion. I had just opted to stop working at Coldstone and pursue my company full time, which as any self-employed person knows its a bit scary at first. So to not only do really well, but start gaining return clientele who really supported my art was motivating beyond belief, which I can say has motivated me to become even better at what i do.
What is your favorite part about selling at markets?
Getting to meet some of the people i look up to at these different markets, like Tyler, the Creator, Willow Smith, etc, and just meeting new clients who really support and love your work. That's why I love Artists & Fleas so much, you guys have the nicest customers and vendors who really appreciate our work.
Where do you see your brand in 10 years?
By then I'll have my own manufactured line as well as the 1 of 1 custom garments still. My line will be sold in different stores and boutiques online and in brick and mortar stores, as well as in person at different pop-up events like now, but we might also have a flagship store at that point. Retail has moved in the direction of online sales a lot in the past few years, so i'm not sure if i'll be gaining my own store, although that is something that i've always wanted. It would most likely consist of the usual sales area with our merchandise, but i'd love to have an area where people can come in and create, whether thats drawing & painting, or tie dyeing our shirts that they can then buy.
Do you remember your first ever sale? Tell us about it!
The first time I ever had a sale was when I setup at the Rose Bowl swap meet in early 2014. I was really excited to finally start selling my merchandise, but compared to most of the vendors there I was very underprepared. I didn't even own clothing racks yet so i just had one table with my shirts folder onto it, bowties all over, and pins all over. It was a great experience because I learned quite a bit about selling in person, what people are looking for, and what to bring for next time. Overall it wasn't bad because I made my booth fee back and a little Del Taco money.
What was the first time you saw someone wearing something that they got from you outside of a market environment?
I was walking around Downtown LA last year near the Regent theatre, and from afar I could see that this guy a few feet in front of me was wearing one of my custom long sleeve shirts. I remembered making that for a client who said it would be a gift for a friend, so I assumed this was the friend she meant. It's an insane feeling seeing someone out there wearing your items when you least expect it, especially if it wasn't the person who bought from you.