Party Sober Clothing was founded by Dom Suazo and Ferril Davis. Their story is inspiring and is yet another example of how sobriety and recovery can transform lives.
I sat down on the phone with the boys form Party Sober, and we went into detail about their lives, their brand, and what inspires them to put so much into their line. Enjoy….
These two young men were childhood friends, and went to high school together. Addiction separated them into their respective painful journeys. They both shared with me their struggles with addiction and the terrible places it took them. They stopped speaking for about 5 years, and it wasn’t until they found themselves in recovery, that they reunited and began to share their experiences with each other. They helped each other stay clean and eventually the idea for Party Sober Clothing was born.
Throughout the interview, I gained some insight as to the idea behind Party Sober. They both expressed how they see the media glamorizing addiction and drug abuse. Very rarely do we see in popular culture, sobriety cast in a positive light. Instead, it seems that drinking and drugging is “cool” or something that will heighten social status. The media rarely focuses on sobriety and its benefits.
The interview lasted about 30 minutes. I have taken some liberties in confining some of the responses, but Dom and Ferril both gave their approval on the article to assure that these are their words, and not mine. Enjoy!
Where did the inspiration come from for Party Sober Clothing?
We both wanted to show the world that you can have fun in sobriety and that the party life isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. After all the trials and tribulations we endured we both realized we had a story to tell. With our focus being the de-glamorization of the party life and exposing the grittiness of drug addiction and everyone it affects we set off to spread our message. But, we didn’t know how to do it. Dom’s passion is art. Ferril’s passion is music. We came together and came up with the idea of forming a clothing company – something we had both always had an interest in. However, we both knew that clothing lines are a dime a dozen so we decided that we would focus on a clothing line that was a front for a movement.
What do you foresee in the future for Party Sober? Give me a short term vision and a long term vision.
Party Sober will be on the Warped Tour this summer as a vendor, which was a huge accomplishment for us because we both grew up attending the Warped Tour. One of our short term goals is to integrate Party Sober with the music scene, mainly metal. We have noticed a lot of kids in that scene are very impressionable and looking for something to identify with. We want to let kids know that this works and it has worked for us and would like Party Sober to be something that the kids can emulate. Also, another one of our short term goals is to find a front man of a band or at least a band member that’s sober to be the spokesperson for Party Sober. We we would get support from that band to reach out to fans. At the moment, our target audience is 13-21 year olds.
As for the future, our long term goal is to turn Party Sober into a movement/lifestyle. We want the company to move into the mainstream and have its audience not be confined to young sober teens and young adults. Party Sober eventually wants to put together community events and programs for people who want to stay clean. Ideally, Party Sober would be able to develop and/or fund a safe place for teenagers and adults to come together and talk about anything that’s going on in their lives with a counselor present as an added support.
What has been your biggest learning experience?
The biggest learning experience for us has been navigating the business world since neither of us has any type of background in business. Finding out how to run a business has been a daunting task with an expensive learning curve. We also battle our drug-addict egos on a daily basis. We have found the solution to both has been staying humble, remaining teachable, and not giving up regardless of the problems we’ve faced. These are all techniques we’ve learned from recovery. We realize that there’s never going to be a day where we actually have it all figured out. But, as long as we remain teachable and sober we know we can conquer any obstacle.
Non-believers or “haters” are also obstacles that Party Sober has had to overcome. But, we have been able to turn non-believers into inspirations. While selling our clothing at events, numerous people have come up to us with the intention of making fun of our idea and, after talking to one of us, walked away with a Party Sober shirt and a new found belief in our vision. That shows the power of our company and it shows that Party Sober is not just an idea, it’s a movement.
How exactly, do you party sober?
People always associate partying with drugs. This is part of the reason we chose the name; it’s an oxymoron. In our opinion, partying sober isn’t about showing up at a party where people are intoxicated and just being the sober people in the corner. Partying sober is about having fun in everything you do and not having your happiness and fun be dependent on substances. It’s a lifestyle. Being clear minded is how you achieve your dreams. We both had a change in our perception about what fun was when we got sober. When we looked back, we realized that our idea about fun was completely askew. We thought fun was chasing drugs and a high that we were probably never going to experience. We want to change the idea and perception about what a good time is and what is required to have a good time. We don’t just represent a clothing company, we represent an idea.
After speaking with these guys, I got a much bigger and better understanding as to what Party Sober is. It’s more than a clothing brand, its an idea. It’s a way of life. It’s America!