We had the good fortune of connecting with John Michael and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The concept behind starting Secluded Archive was to create a brand that represented creatives and people who felt like they had no voice. I wanted to create clothing that when someone recognized the brand they felt like it was a community of creatives who helped each other gain exposure. I know what it feels like to have such great content but no one around you in your local town is taking you seriously because you have not reached the “main stage” yet. That was when I decided to create Secluded Archive as a media outlet and clothing line. This way brand posting about other creatives and other people wearing it they knew that whoever was wearing it was taking a step forward in their career.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
So first and foremost I started Secluded Archive as a clothing line in 2018 but I was way too nervous to drop anything. I just felt like everything had to be perfect before releasing anything. I knew that everyone in my town would not support me if it wasn’t perfect. After 4 years of dabbling with different designs for our first drop, I finally decided to drop our first hoodies which sold out In 2 days. I would say at that moment was when I knew that I had something special and I knew it was something that I needed to continue forever, The journey to getting where I am at today was not easy at all. I spent countless nights up till 5 am stressing and worrying about if I should even drop anything. Then one night I said to myself, you can’t expect progress without ever taking the risk to get to where you want to go. Along the way, I learned to always try new things and to just allow my mind to be creative as possible. When it comes to creating the only barriers that hold you back are the ones that you set for yourself.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well since I am from New York the first place we are going to when they got here would be to get a chopped cheese. That is a staple in New York culture so that would have to be the first thing we do. I wouldn’t want them to have that tourist-like feel while here so I would take them to the most authentic food spots I know. Another spot I would take them to is a nice hookah lounge in Astoria. My overall goal for them being here is to have the most New York experience possible so we would have to go to Manhatten at night and just walk around and see where we end up.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
All of my friends and family deserve a huge shoutout when it comes to my career and the brand. All of my friends have been helpful along the way, whether it be helping me decide on drops, posting and promoting recent drops, and even driving around with me all over new york dropping of pieces to people who bought the drops. Personally, I want to thank Fabian, Donavan, and Amir. These guys have been with me since I started this and have always been hands-on and ready to help whenever I need it. Although all of my friends help promote and support me in every way these guys have been the ones who help me make most of the decisions for the brand. Overall I have a core group of people who stand behind any business adventure I go after and to be honest I would not be where I am today if it was not for them pushing me and telling me that what I’m doing is revolutionary.
All Photos Taken By @codeseis All Clothing in Photos By @secludedarchive