By Juri Love
Sharon, MA — Wes Woodson, 20, CEO/Founder of apparel company “thehidden” is still a Babson College student majoring in Strategic Management and Marketing but didn’t wait till graduation to start his business.
“thehidden” is a new, eye-catching clothing brand with an inspiring story and mission behind it. For Woodson, “thehidden” is rooted in self-love. Wes founded his company to share his belief that no one should hide who they are in order to fit in.
While growing up in a predominantly white community within Sharon, MA, he was diagnosed with Vitiligo which caused white dots to appear on the surface of his skin. This diagnoses led Woodson, at age of 12, to be bullied at school about his skin condition and struggled to find his identity. As a response, he started to hide the spots in any way possible.
With time and soul-searching, Woodson realized that people are all made differently for a reason, and it’s time to start loving our uniqueness.
“Growing up as one of the few people of color, I felt lost. I felt like I was ‘too white’ for the black kids and ‘too black’ for the white kids. But my perspective has changed a lot,” he explained.
“To be a person of color in 2018 is to be of great power and excellence. I realize that people of color come from great histories. Before racism and enslavement, my people came from royalty. Therefore, no matter what situation I am in, I know I am a person of great power,” he said.
As a brand, “thehidden” is also rooted in authenticity. “What I am sharing is the real deal, no script. I put my all into my business from the design to how I interact with customers. By doing so, I know I can make a real impact on the lives of the people who support my brand which is the major goal,” he said.
Another of Woodson’s long-term goals is to generate $20,000 in annual revenue by the end of 2019. However, in the short-term, Woodson aims to focus on his social media presence and further engage with his followers.
Born to the digital generation, Woodson understands how essential social media is for growing a brand, personally or as an organization.
“In the 21st-century social media is the best way to communicate and more importantly it is the only way to maximize the number of people you reach without capital,” he said.
He defines success as “living with purpose and own your own terms.”Woodson believes doing so requires vision, self-confidence, conviction, and motivation to follow their own path. Most importantly, to be successful one must have a positive and inclusive mindset.
“Without vision, you have no dreams; without [conviction], you can’t turn those visions into reality. I see these as principles I extend into my professional ambitions as well.”
Woodson, who is a doer—not a talker, won’t halt his dreams at “thehidden.” His ambition will drive him to unexpected heights.
“It wasn’t until when my father took me to a Boston Celtics basketball game where I discovered what that ‘more’ was. I was 8-years-old when I asked my father: ‘why play for a basketball team when I can own it?’ I will accomplish this goal by the time I am 45 years old. Mark my words.”
To support young dreamer’s vision, visit: shopthehidden.com