Meet the Maker - Matt Simmerman

Meet the Maker - Matt Simmerman

Matt Simmerman

Meet Matt, the Maker behind Dubtree

“I got my start from growing up playing in a band and touring across the country. I met so many people that were beautiful human beings that opened their homes and hearts to us while on tour. That inspired me so much that I wanted to give back to my community in that same regard; old fashioned hospitality, welcoming anyone and everyone to be a part of our journey, also known as joining The Dubtree Family.”


Read his story below

What inspired you to start your creative enterprise?

I got into making clothes as a creative outlet; a form of expression, and as a way to make cool things for the community at an affordable price. Growing up in a single income family we did not have the money for the name brand clothes that my peers were wearing so my Mom got crafty and would sew the designer labels on thrift store clothing so I would not be teased. 
Honestly, the same steps I took to start the brand are the same we live by today, so not much has changed haha.  Dubtree stands for Driven Unstoppable Belief Towards Reaching Environmental Elegance. I have always welcomed everyone with open arms. The Dubtree Family is a judgement-free family where we strive to be the change we wish to see in the world; and when we wear Dubtree, it's like a universal symbol of being a good person; you know you are representing something bigger than yourself.

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“Dubtree didn't make it this far by paying big time influencers, or having a huge team doing various tasks. I have always taken the approach similar to what an unsigned band would do; DIY mentality, keep it punk, and word of mouth advertising.” 

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Starting a creative enterprise is hard, what advice would you give to those with similar aspirations?

Starting a creative enterprise is definitely hard, and some advice that I would give to those with similar aspirations is to never, EVER, stop pushing. Keep your foot on that gas pedal.  Whether that gas pedal is a bicycle, public transportation, an old beater that might overheat on the way to picking up supplies, just keep pushing. Nothing happens overnight, and there is no rush. Take your time, master your craft, and know your value.

To what do you most attribute your success?

My Mom would come home in tears on a daily basis but never gave up. She believed in change, and helping any child she could. Over time she became one of the most beloved teachers on the campus; no one messed with Ms. Simmerman. My Dad, he was present, but he worked 7 days a week between his daily job and a side business. It was on the weekends as a kid where he taught me about roofing houses. He was hellbent on teaching me a trade "because you never know when you might lose your 9-5." That's how I became a screen printer for not only Dubtree but other brands and businesses as well.

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“Between my Mother working as a teacher in Compton for almost 20 years, and my Father's lifelong work ethic, any success I have achieved directly comes from seeing them grind.”

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On a typical week, how many hours do you spend working on your creative enterprise?

I will spend anywhere from around 24 to 40 hours a week on the brand. Packing and shipping orders, driving out to our embroiderers shop, getting supplies up in LA, and then making the time to actually print all of our shirts and clothing. Not very many brands still do that, but all of our printable items are done right here at home, by hand.

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“I am very thankful for my job, but when I'm on vacation, or enjoying a day off, my head is clear and I can focus much better on the visions I have.  Sometimes it's difficult to get into the zone after a long day at work.”

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How does your work march us to a better future?

Dubtree stands for something. Our clothing means something. Our graphics mean something. Our photoshoots are realistic and relatable. Like I mentioned before, when you wear Dubtree, you're subliminally telling the world you are the change you wish to see in the world. Fellow Dubtree supporters know that, and I often hear stories of people connecting through the brand just by wearing our t-shirt, or a hoodie or a hat. That's powerful. That's creating a movement in the right direction and the best part is that it's not done by me or one person; it's everyone, collectively, regardless of race or religion.  It's a movement for the people, by the people, literally.