By: Cory Lancaster

Thomas Mitchell is the owner of Mitchell Strategies and the clothing brand, 1988. A DMV native, Mitchell started in the ecommerce space in 2011 with a sneaker start-up.

“I had this crazy idea that I could create a platform for users to buy, sell, and trade sneakers. I made a ton of mistakes that I feel plague so many early entrepreneurs — mainly trying to do too much at once and not completing enough market research to fully flesh out my complex ideas.”

Thomas sunset that project in 2016.

“I learned a lot from that experience but I realized it was time to move on.”

Then came 1988. 1988 is a clothing brand Mitchell started in 2016 that resold vintage items from local thrift stores.

“It was fun finding thrifted items then reselling them online on our website and secondary markets like Ebay, Offer Up, and Let Go. The idea was that we would resell items then start a box subscription based on the thrifted items we had. However, I realized quickly how hard it would be to scale an idea like this.”

Mitchell and his team then redesigned the entire site, changed the logo and pivoted the business model. He decided to develop a brand of his own, build a store around that brand, then invite other brands to his platform to sell.

In fact, this summer, 1988 is developing content in the streetwear space! They’ve partnered with Museum DC and will be having a bi-monthly pop-up shop launching May 5th!

After 1988, Thomas developed Mitchell Strategies. Mitchell Strategies is a digital marketing and content development firm that works directly with small businesses and political organizations to grow their digital presence.

“I actually had been doing design and web development projects for friends for years, as well as hobby projects of my own. In my first startup, I got burned by a developer and was forced to figure out how to code my own website from scratch. After that experience, I realized that I could build a business around the skills I had taught myself.”

Mitchell is really focused on growing both companies. Between outreach to for partnerships, learning the best methods to source clothing, and designing new prints, Mitchell is no stranger to burning the midnight oil. Taking notes from his idols, Jeff Bezos, and his Pastor, John Cherry, Mitchell has learned that part of being a great entrepreneur is maintaining a healthy balance between work and play. Mitchell does this by spending as much time as possible with friends and family. He’s also a huge sports fan so pretty much anything wizards or eagles related is good self-care for him!

Follow Mitchell Strategies and 1988 on social media here:

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By Cory Lancaster

Cory is a thrift store enthusiast, yogi in the making and an outspoken carefree black girl.