Robert Hockley grew up in Galveston during a time when drugs and gangs were rampant throughout the isle.
And with that, he got caught up in things that were sure to land him in prison — and did.
However, Hockley has gone from a troubled teenager to an entrepreneur, where he’s started a promotions company called HD Management & Promotions with longtime friend Danny Henry.
For the past six years, the company has been managing several musical talents in the Galveston County area, as well as promoting several club and community events.
Hockley wrote a self-published book titled “Living in the Streets” and also published two magazines, Main Event and Candy Dolls.
Hockley’s latest venture is G County Apparel, a line that includes T-shirts and caps, which debuted in February.
I had a chance to sit down and ask Robert a few questions on where G County Apparel can go and what led him to embark on this venture.
Q: What made you come up with the concept of the design of the shirts?
A: The concept was born out of a desire to represent where I’m from. I wanted it to have a classic look and one that everyone could relate to.
Q: How long has the business been in existence?
A: The idea has been maybe 15 years in the making, but the actual launch of the business was Feb. 3.
Q: Why do you feel that it is important for people to start their own business that reflects their community?
A: It’s very important because the real duty of the small business is to serve its community. So, in return, the business should reflect the community it serves — otherwise it won’t survive.
The business is also a symbol of empowerment to those in that community searching for a better tomorrow. G County Apparel serves and reflects the Galveston County community as a whole. Everyone that is from here is extremely proud of that, and our products lets the world know it.
Q: Having gone through some of the struggles that you’ve had, what words of wisdom would you like to leave behind for those that might want to start their own business or venture?
A: My formula is real simple: Study. Plan. Execute! If it’s truly for you, God will shine his light on your path.
Focus on your skill or trade and deliver what the people you are targeting want. Being in business means to be supplying a demand. Find what your targeted market is in demand of and supply it better than the competition. It’s the American way.
Q: Will there be other items besides T-shirts in the future?
A: Definitely! Infant and toddler sizes are now available, and sweatpants and sleepers are on the horizon. As business grows, we look forward to doing much, much more.