Aundrey Ricks is quickly becoming a popular name in the world of fashion with his Raw Impact brand. When he started the Raw Impact brand it was literally from scratch. Aundrey’s favorite quote about this particular journey is “I only have a dollar and a dream.”. This resulted in Aundrey not being able to take no for an answer. He acquired a retail space in downtown Kalamazoo, MI for a little bit of nothing, even though it was a little hole in the wall store he was determined to succeed. By having faith, Mr. Ricks partnered with Mitchell & Ness Brand and The Raw Impact Store became an authorized retailer. The Raw Impact Store consisted of sports Mitchell & Ness products.
From its inception, in 2011 Mitchell & Ness hat sales flourished while everything else in the store were minuscule. This conveyed to Aundrey that he needed an alluring brand name and logo. One day Aundrey and his cousin were talking on the phone and came up with the name Raw Impact, at first the name did not stick on him but it was something about it that he couldn’t let go of, so he chose to stick with it. Hat sales continued to climb and Aundrey kept reinvesting the money back into his business. Mr. Ricks then took the next step in his business by investing and creating the Raw Impact brand logo. He paid an artist at his alma mater Western Michigan University to design the logo for him and he then placed that logo on all of his shirts. The symbol was a ferocious shark and was the perfect complement to the brand name Raw Impact.
Shirt sales skyrocketed while hat sales descended. The demand for Raw Impact shirts soon took over the college market. It didn’t stop there because interest in the shirts soon permeated to professional sports markets as well. One day while sitting courtside at a Detroit Pistons game one of the players praised Aundrey’s shirt and wanted to know where he could purchase it. This then had a ripple effect and led to professional athletes all over the world wanting to endorse Raw Impact.
According to Ricks, “Coming from the inner city this type of thing doesn’t happen often. I thank GOD for keeping me focused and having my back rather I’m right or wrong.” Today Ricks continues his success with Raw Impact and has a myriad of business endeavors including Raw Impact Sports Facility, United Impact Inc non-profit organization, and many more.