The importance of appearance should not be underestimated – not even now when we are leaving our houses less, says entrepreneur and stylist Travis Gilbert.
Now, this is not to say that looks mean everything, but, according to the designer, the way you present yourself could make the difference in your day, could be the defining factor to get you the job that you are looking for and it probably determines the way people treat you.
The 27-year-old Retreat resident says he found a love for art and fashion at a young age. With a passion for art and expression, he dabbled in all forms of art from when he was only six years old.
“I’ve done painting, sculpting, graffiti painting, dance, music, et cetera. You can say I’ve done it all, but what spoke to me the most was fashion and media. Fashion has been my first love since I was 11 or 12, growing up with a dad who loves fashion, a sister who’s a designer and a brother who loved sneakers; it groomed me into the fashion lover I am today,” he says.
After matriculating from Muizenberg High School in 2011, Gilbert completed short courses in graphic design and photography, and then, he says: “It all came to life when I became a part of a non-government organisation (NGO) called I Am Passion, where I was taught to bring my passion to life by life coach and motivational speaker Bradley van Reenen.”
Learning the ropes from those he came into contact with at I Am Passion, Gilbert was set on his path to building his own brand.
“The names Trippy Garments and Trippy Graphix Media come from my initials, TG – Travis Gilbert. The Trippy part is for my difference, always standing out and being unique.”
Then, just a few months after launching his businesses at the end of 2019, the lockdown was implemented. While some people saw the lockdown as a time to relax, Gilbert was not going to let it stop his business or get him down.
“Business is not as easy as it used to be due to Covid-19, but it forced a shift to online sales which is a growing market and an easier way to market your product,” he says.
He adds that even during a pandemic, where everyone tends to stick to the confines of their own home, it was and is still important to look good “because it helps you get things done”.
“Speaking from experience, during the first lockdown, every day I would get up, make my bed, tidy my space, do a workout, shower and eat because it’s very important. And that way, I would get so much work done. It helped get my creative juices flowing.”
Now, having developed a mind for business, Gilbert says he is working on several projects in addition to trading Forex. “I’m currently working with I Am Passion on one of their projects that erupted amidst the pandemic to uplift moods and generate income for the staff. I am also working on a sportswear line that I want to release. Since I am a fitness freak – in the gym every day – I wanted to create stylish yet comfortable gym wear for my people.”
With the amount of work he’s completed on his brand as an example, Gilbert advises everyone to take pride in their appearance. “No matter if it’s for a job or just going out; we are visual beings, we treat things or people by what we see and the way it or they make us feel.”
A plus side to gussying up, he adds, is: “If you look good, you feel good and you automatically perform way better in everything you do because it’s like a boost of confidence and your mood. You should always take pride in the small details because that’s where your difference lies.”