At the age of 20, Antione Taylor became the CEO and founder of a prospering organization based in Los Angeles California. His entrepreneurial story begins at Saint John’s University in the midst of his college years. With his time spread thin between classes, football practice, and maintaining a social life, Taylor was struggling to make ends meet. This motivated him to begin offering his laundry services to students on his college campus. After some time doing his peers’ laundry, Antione decided to make a change, and his side hustle developed into his idea to sell customized socks. He gained rapid success from this endeavor and from that point on, Antione pursued a career in designing, manufacturing, and selling streetwear. On this new business venture came the birth of his viral t-shirt which was featured in the 2020 BET awards. The success of his streetwear line combined with his 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 has Antione created a successful apparel brand, but he has also established a non-profit within his company. In the last 5 years, Taylor and his team 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 Antione’s mission of helping those in need and inspiring the collective to pursue their dreams.
Where did the idea for The Cause International come from?
The idea for The Cause International started while I was in college. I no longer wanted to be dependent on my parents so I started coming up with ways in which I could make money on campus. I noticed that custom apparel was a new wave amongst students so I decided to start selling custom socks; something no one was doing. This new venture brought me triple the amount of money I had set out to make, and I felt called to do something impactful with the surplus of income. This is where The Cause International came to fruition. I had God on my mind, and I decided to use the extra money to give back to those in need.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day is consumed with planning out schedules and meeting with my staff. Everyday, I spend my time communicating with my team as we are constantly figuring out different ways to structure our operations and keep the logistics of the business in order. I also spend my days brainstorming new designs for the streetwear line and figuring out how to give back to communities while I scale the business.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring my ideas to life by surrounding myself with individuals that not only believe in me, but also acquire the skills that I don’t have. For example, if I have an idea, I will pitch that idea to my team and they help me with the logistics. I always have the mindset that if you think you can, you can create it. I know that I am always going to get it done, so I’ll find the help I need to turn my ideas from thoughts into reality.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that really excites me is the new wave of student athletes realizing they’re more than their sport and athletic ability. Young athletes are beginning to figure out how to leverage their sport to create their own brand and create their own net worth. I also love the trend of mental health in the sports arena. Student athletes now have access to mental health resources and support and that is something I believe to be extremely important for future generations to come.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
The one habit that makes me more productive is the way I am always critiquing everything I do. Even in the moments when I do well, I am constantly asking myself, ‘how can I make this even better?’. This is a habit that I believe makes me a growth oriented entrepreneur.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self that it’s not going to happen overnight, but don’t ever stop dreaming the big dream. I would tell myself that I will need to be willing to give it everything I have and more, and it will pay off. Seeing all that I’ve done to get to where I’m at, I’m glad I never gave up.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Before I die, I’m going to have water filtration systems in every country that doesn’t have running water. I’m going to change the world.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I recommend everyone should fail. Especially in the public eye or in front of your team. Just fail publicly. It will separate you from the masses, the people that make it in life, risk it all. Failure is the only way you will learn.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The strategy that has helped me grow my business is by making the mission bigger than myself. It motivates me to know I am making a change in the world and doing what I do for the betterment of others.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I experienced along this journey was when I lost my entire team. During that time, I felt I was failing as a leader in the businesses, but I overcame it by staying 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.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Living in LA, I noticed how everything is health inspired. Everyone works out, everyone wants to eat clean, but we don’t have any late night healthy foods available. I think a great business idea would be to open a healthy , late night, fast food joint.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I recently spent has been on my freelance copywriter. To have someone I can trust to step in for publishing gigs, interviews, article pieces, is truly exponential. It takes a lot off my plate and gives me peace of mind knowing I have someone to go to for any written business projects.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Square space. This web service is how I run my entire business. Because we are a manufacturing brand, I am able to use it for all aspects of my company and it allows me to expand my business.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. This book has helped me immensely when it comes to managing my money. In the last 6 months, I’ve saved more money than I ever have in my entire life. I’ve never been a huge spender, but I’ve been a huge giver, and reading this book has completely shifted my mindset in the ways in which I can give to others.
Additionally, it has helped me learn the importance of time management and why having a team is so essential to success. It made me realize that investing my money can also look like spending it on support and hiring people to help me run the company. It has been a huge stepping stone in me becoming more business minded, and in making better decisions financially for both myself and for The Cause. I recommend any entrepreneur to give this book a read.
What is your favorite quote?
“When life gets tough, kneel.”
- Make it bigger than yourself. Doing something that will impact more than yourself is one of the most profound motivating forces you’ll experience.
- Lean on others. Find people who believe in you, and build a team that can assist you in making your dreams a reality.
- Always re-evaluate your own work. Never be satisfied. Stay hungry for growth and wanting to be better at everything that you do.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.