When you have a vision, nothing can hinder your progress. In a matter of two years, husband and wife power team, Brandon & Margaret Williamson, owners of the luxury clothing and luggage label, PRSVR have created a non-stop growing empire. Init
ially launching in Chicago with The Atelier, leather showroom, PRSVR has since expanded its brand with more signature leather pieces, home decor, and they capped off 2014 with the new store Hours.
Entering the fashion scene with their signature leather track pants, PRSVR has been worn by some of our favorite celebrities, including Nicki Minaj, Fabolous, Tyrese, B.O.B., Nelly, and many more.
What inspired the new store?
PRSVR: The concept for Hours really came from the idea that people measure on something- how much money you have, how new your shoes are, how many girls like you. We felt the only thing you can’t measure is time. We all have 24 hours in a day. Time is ours literally.
With the boutique, we wanted to go with this family vibe of having [a combination of] men, women, children and different aspects of those things. That just continued in the entendre of (h)ours. The people we collectively hand picked to work with us. We like the tefted leather, we like gold and black- just the boldness of the leather. Just taking those different elements and putting them into a store.
You have continuous progress, what do you attribute this success to?
PRSVR: Nothing but God. We work hard, and we try hard. We sacrifice, but all those things would be for naught, if God didn’t say okay, I see what you’re doing and move them forward for us. The hard work God has instilled in us, the blessings, the ideas he’s given us to deliver to the rest of the world.
Tell us about the journey of PRSVR.
PRSVR: It’s been rough. [Two of my bestfriends and myself] started PRSVR ten years ago. [First], we were going to make a shoe. We did not have the money to make it, so we fell on our faces. A lot of people that were here are not here any more, but it’s that journey. It makes us all reputable to talk about sacrifice, or going through some things. When things are not going your way. That journey is something we would recommend to more people. In order to get what you want, you [have] to go through something. You have to tell yourself, I can’t go buy the Jordans that just came out. Either I can buy these Jordans today, look like everyone else, or I can open this super awesome boutique and people can buy my shoes.
YS Mag appreciates the story of risk takers. Can you share some of the sacrifices you had to make?
Brandon: When we started the year, we had our showroom, which we ran for a year, then we had the idea around Christmas to open up this shop. We had a very little amount of time to open it up. We had some funds we earned throughout the year, so we decided to appropriate those funds to Hours. In the midst of that, the Atelier shut down. The water and heat stopped working, the pipes froze. Everything stopped working, but we lived there too.
In the midst of that, we were still trying to finish this project. So we had to decide to finish this project, or take the money out of the project and just open it later- lose what we have already done and move. We stood on it, God moved, and allowed for us to finish this project. The S in PRSVR stands for sacrifice. It’s literally the perseverance- you will be tested to see that you are getting through what you have to get done. You want to take the easy route, go do something easy. There were a couple days we had to eat peanut butter out the jar.
-Brandon explained to me that sacrifice is not a punishment, it comes from a desire to want something better.
Margaret: It was hard for me too, coming from a place where you’re comfortable, and you can afford the finer things in life when you are single- not working towards anything. Starting on this project you have to start making all these sacrifices. You can’t necessarily get your nails done, every single week.
What do you tell people who what to start something?
PRSVR: We tell them to write it down. Think about what you want to do, before you do it. One of the major retailers for sneakers talked to us one day and said, I’ll give you an account, if you’re willing to take $50K in the middle of the room and burn it. It’s a sacrifice a lot of people aren’t ready for. We always get people that want to talk to us and pick our brain. Realize what you want to do, and then do it.
How do you function to achieve every goal?
Margaret: We have visions more than goals. It’s hard when you set concrete goals for yourself- to be able to check those off. If you don’t reach one then you automatically feel like a failure. More so, if you can envision success and re evaluate that on a daily basis.
It’s always creating this vision that seems impossible. Six months before we opened the Atelier, we couldn’t imagine. I think we talked about a work live space. and actually have a showroom, and people were going to come here, they were going to look through the stuff and they were going to buy it and spend thousands of dollars.
Brandon: Goals aren’t really attached to dollars. I tell people all the time, the money is great, we don’t mind it, but it’s really so I can go do some other cool stuff later, that’s going to inspire someone else.
Interviewed by Jonnita C.