Doobie Duke Sims: The Musician's Breakthrough Success in Fashion Design and Creative EntrepreneurshipJun 8, 2023
Doobie Duke Sims, once a key member of the successful band Shinobi Ninja, has skillfully transitioned from acclaimed musician to a powerhouse in the fashion world. Inspired by his childhood passion for visual arts, he created Snow Milk, a distinctive clothing brand that now commands a staggering annual revenue of $278K from scratch.
Doobie’s unique designs have caught the eye of celebrities like Renee Rapp, Ethan Cutkosky, Richie James, and Leslie Grace, earning him a place among their wardrobe staples. This remarkable transformation, culminating in a standout feature on CNBC, attests to Doobie’s creative talent and work ethic.
Doobie’s band,Shinobi Ninja
At the heart of his philosophy from decades spent in the music industry is one pivotal lesson: teamwork. He believes in the magic of collaboration and the strength of a united front, a message woven into his life and work, whether playing the saxophone, recording albums, or exploring the fashion industry.
In 2018, fatherhood spurred Doobie’s life in a new direction. He purchased a print shop from a Craigslist ad, learning the craft and infusing his creativity into it. But his vision didn’t stop there. Blending sounds with imprints, he innovatively established a recording studio within the print shop, creating a multi-dimensional creative space.
Doobie with his daughter
Intrigued and motivated, Doobie dedicated himself to mastering this new craft, learning how to translate his designs into tangible, wearable art. The once-abandoned childhood hobby was now brought back to life as he began creating graphics for clothing. His artistic background and innovative mindset made him a natural fit for this field, merging creativity with practical, marketable design and birthing Snow Milk.
Snow Milk, 1 of 1 Upcycled & New Numbered Clothing
The brand began modestly with only 1 shirt sale for $50 in Januarty 2022 and saw a meteoric rise by December 2022, earning a staggering 96K in that month alone. This phenomenal growth prompted Doobie to scale up, hire a team, and delve into the intricacies of the business.
The biggest shift in perspective came when Doobie realized that while his music was primarily for himself, Snow Milk was for people. “I do it for the people. They are the ones wearing it,” he said. He emphasizes the importance of creating clothing that will be part of someone’s experiences and memories.
Every Snow Milk piece has a unique number
Riding the wave of what he calls the ‘law of reversed effort,’ Doobie saw Snow Milk explode in popularity. Much like producing a hit song, he believes the universe rewards you when you create art without trying to force success. And so, Doobie is literally sketching like a child with unfiltered creativity, capturing the “essence of awesomeness” in its purest form.
Despite having no PR outreach, Snow Milk has made its way onto red carpets, the Grammys, and even into the wardrobes of celebrities. This was possible because of Doobie’s dedication to creating unique clothing, letting the pieces fall into place organically, much like the flow of music.
Reneé Rapp wearing Snow Milk at Universal Music Group’s Grammys 2023 afterparty
Doobie experiments with printing all over the clothing, including on the sides, the hood, and the sleeves. This creative approach and impressive sales numbers signify that Doobie has hit upon a winning formula.
Despite no formal fashion training, Doobie has risen to a level of a speaker at Parsons School of Art. Doobie’s secret to establishing his unique style? He says, “I never care about what other people say, ever, parents or anyone - others’ opinion doesn’t affect it.”
Doobie’s apperance in CNBC’s Make It Channel
Looking towards the future, Doobie Duke Sims envisions franchising Snow Milk as the next step toward achieving freedom. This model revolves around trust and uniquely suits Snow Milk as its clothing and designs are concrete and easy to replicate.
Just as Basquiat and Keith Haring achieved success through licensing, Doobie sees the potential of Snow Milk extending into areas beyond clothing - picture Snow Milk pillowcases or toothbrushes. But franchising stands out as the optimal path, as it offers independence and the potential for residual income without the responsibilities of managing each branch.
Snow Milk’s first franchise at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ
However, Doobie isn’t interested in franchising to just anyone. It has to make great sense, and prospective franchisees must show a track record of business success. Regardless of demographics, they must be genuinely invested in the brand and product, echoing Doobie’s inclusive approach to Snow Milk.
This brings us to the essence of Supreme’s popularity and how it appeals to a diverse demographic. People want to own something exclusive yet accessible. Snow Milk strives to capture this ‘Supremeness,’ fusing it with its unique ‘Snow Milkness’ to hit the sweet spot in the market. The goal is to be affordable and available to all, from 9-year-olds to 90-year-olds, while retaining its exclusivity.
Snow Milk in actively expanding into new product categories
Beyond clothing for humans, Doobie even envisions a line of streetwear for animals. He continues manufacturing in Brooklyn, supplying wholesale clothes and even setting up franchises in New Jersey.
Doobie Duke Sims is distilling his fashion industry success into a course on WeFranch . Designed for both students and professionals, the course encapsulates his experiences and insights from the past 3-5 years, covering start-up fundamentals, silk screen printing, business scaling, and media visibility.
Framed around the theme “Building a Brand as a Creative,” Doobie keeps the focus on the crucial question: “What do people want?” making his course a unique and essential guide for aspiring fashion innovators.