MADE MOBB’s growing footprint in Kansas City isn’t because of luck, said Mark Launiu, as the streetwear apparel company plans to open its third retail location in July.
“If I’m honest with you, this is hard. It’s a lot of work to push the brand and reflect the culture,” said Launiu, co-founder of MADE MOBB/MADE Urban Apparel and founder of the Kritiq. “But we’re always going to be ourselves. We’re going to figure it all out. We just work backwards.”
Setting a finish line first — then figuring out how to get there after they start running — is all part of the marathon, he said, explaining the path that led to MADE’s soon-to-open location at 221 Southwest Boulevard in the Crossroads Arts District.
Launiu and the MADE team had been scouting a Crossroads retail spot for months, getting close to a deal on a 5,000-square-foot space, he said.
“It didn’t work out. That was on a Monday. On Wednesday, we found this place — and it ended up being a better deal for us, better laid out for what we need,” Launiu said of the 3,900-square-foot storefront facing a busy thoroughfare. “This is perfect for us.”
Click here for more on MADE’s origins.
With a downtown location just minutes away at 1110 Grand Boulevard and a home within the Made in KC Marketplace on the Country Club Plaza, the resurging arts district was a natural extension of the brand, he added.
“The Crossroads has its own demographic, it’s own audience,” Launiu said, reflecting on a pop-up at the new space during May’s First Fridays frenzy. “We were so happy because First Fridays is a staple, and if we can really nail that, then we can make this happen. From the sales at that event alone, we saw 40 percent new customers.”
MADEMOBB is planning another of its wildly popular block party events for June’s First Friday — featuring an exclusive capsule drop of new apparel. The limited supply capsule — created in collaboration with Collective Ex and Young Guns — is another play on MADE’s BLAKCATS and This Ain’t Luck lines.
The block party will showcase Phase 2 renovations, as well as local vendors and artists. Attendees also will be able to pose for selfies with the new mural of Nipsey Hussle, the LA-based rapper-turned-entrepreneur whose death sparked a renewed push for community activism and support.
“People coming up and down, discovering us for the first time — it’s amazing. People are already looking in the windows [during construction]. A lot of people are really excited to see us come down here,” said Launiu. “We want to create an experience for people who want to come in and explore the brand instead of just shopping online.”
Can’t wait? Click here to check out MADE MOBB’s apparel.