Well known among many hip hop artists in Portland, Bendrea Andrews decided to start a strictly promotional side to his music production business by printing shirts for his friends and family.
Andrews, 22 years old, says he'd make 15 or 20 at a time to push his music.
"It got that I was spending a lot of money for my family members to wear them as a promotional aspect," Andrews said. "It really pushed into a clothing line when I wanted to put my face on it."
Now, Andrews presides over DreCut Clothing, featuring more than a dozen original designs, many with his likeness and personalized sayings such as "I Go Hard in the Paint," "I Run My City," "Rep Yo City."
But perhaps the most telling of Andrews' designs is "Everything I Do I Do It Big."
"I was always taught, you turn 18, you get married, you get a job or join the Army," he said. "It was never college or anything like that. If you graduated high school, that was a success. I see my brothers and that's what they've done."
Now, in addition to operating his clothing line and doing work for such organizations as Nike, Alpha Broadcasting and Fox, Andrews is on the verge of finishing his bachelor's degree in music business from Full Sail University. Although he's been taking online courses, He says the school is urging him to spend his senior year at the campus in Winter Park, Fla.
But with everything in Portland, the young entrepreneur says he's not sure if it'd be worth it.
His ultimate goal is to have his siblings – and there are nine of them – to work for his company.
Lately, Andrews has been working with BET's Big Mike '106 and Park' to be featured on the show's local Blaze the Stage events. He said he's in talks to have the group 'N3w Era' to wear his stuff.
He said the artist Mighty will also be wearing his stuff when appears on "106 & Park."
Long involved in music, Andrews said he taught in the music department at Helensview School and was also a part of the Metropolitan Youth Choir as a child.
"I really wanted to take over the bad things about hip hop music and bring in things that are uplifting and empowering," he said. "The clothing line, that's how it got started, with my own music and the opportunities so far."
For Andrews, the opportunities of life are boundless. He has plans to create a hip hop magazine and also expand his already established business of helping artists with websites, press kits, music videos and distribution.
"I want this to be uplifting, to the youth, to do your dreams. No matter what anyone says, things that you come about in life, to actually go out there and try it," he said.
Visit DreCut Clothing online at www.drecutclothing.com