Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

The Story of Prince Hero & PH | Prince Hero和PH的故事

 


Written by (作者): Ningbo Focus 《宁波聚焦》
Photos by (图片来源): Ningbo Focus 《宁波聚焦》, Prince Hero


 

Sometimes, a business idea can come from something small. Such is the case of Prince Hero, a Zhejiang Wanli University exchange student from Ghana who started a clothing line in Ningbo called PH, after his name. Since the beginning of last year, the hats and t-shirts emblazoned with the logo have taken the city by storm, popping up at university events, concerts and even some shops around the city.

I sat down with Prince in the Ningbo Focus office to discuss the company with him. Despite his soft spoken and reserved nature, his presence is warm and welcoming, something which played into his idea for the clothing line. Prince tells me he grew up as a member of a royal family in Ghana, his grandfather being the chief of one of the native tribes that make up the country, which earned him the name Prince. The hero part, he explained, came from the fact that his father was a UN Peacekeeper. During one of his missions, his father lost a friend in battle, and to honor him he gave his son his second name, Hero.

Prince came to Ningbo to study logistics in 2014, and it was here that he began making a name for himself on campus and around the city. “Everywhere I go people always are happy to see me saying ‘hey Hero!’” he smiles. He remembers when he was in the hospital following a major accident in which he sliced his arm with broken glass. “When I was in the hospital people were posting it on WeChat in their Moments and everywhere, and this inspired me to give something back.”

As a way of thanking the community that had been there for him and helped him through his time of trouble, he decided to start a clothing company, beginning with hats, that could help him spread a message of hope and confidence. The message of confidence? His name. Prince realized his name could be an inspiring thing, bravery and confidence combined into one, so during his time in the hospital he set about making a design and thinking about what he could do. “I had to learn how to write again, and when I wrote my initials one day I got the logo” he said.

When he returned to Wanli, Prince set to work designing and finding people that could help make a product and market the idea. Using his connections in the business school, he got help from his classmates and teachers to find a supplier and was even able to get help from his e-commerce teacher to set up a shop on Taobao.

There was some trouble at first, especially in regards to design. “When I went to check the design of the hat I noticed that, after it was washed a few times, the color on the logo would bleed.” So it was back to the drawing board, and with some help from some Chinese friends at ZWU, Prince was able to ensure a new design that wouldn’t bleed or fade when washed.

Since the company’s inception, PH can be found at events throughout the city, most recently popping up in local shops like Jurassic Vape. Interestingly enough, though, the hat and t-shirts Prince has designed are most popular in Florida, where he has family.

Prince’s ultimate goal is to have the brand spread across China, star ting with the Yangtze River Delta region and moving outwards, spreading the company’s – and his – philosophy: “’PH’ or ‘Prince Hero’ means something or someone that is brave, confident, ready to take things on,” Prince muses. The clothing line symbolizes confidence and wanting to try new things, to break the mold, something that is happening more and more in China, making PH an unlikely symbol of changing times and ideas, yet something that fits in the period.

有时候,商业点子可能源自一件微不足道的小事。来自加纳的浙江万里学院交换生Prince Hero的创业历程就是这样一个例子。他在宁波办起了一个服装品牌,并以自己的姓名首字母PH命名。自去年年初以来,印有该品牌商标的帽子和T恤在宁波掀起了一阵风潮,从校园活动、音乐会到城里的一些商店,到处可见。

我和Prince在《宁波聚焦》的办公室里坐下来,聊了聊这家公司。虽然他说话轻声细语、性格毫不张扬,但是给人的感觉温暖友好,也正是这种性格让他走上了创业之路。Prince告诉我他成长于加纳的一个皇室家族,他的祖父是一个土著部落的首领,他由此赢得了Prince(王子)之名。至于他的姓Hero,他解释说,则是源于他父亲的经历。他的父亲曾是一位联合国维和人员,在一次执行任务期间失去了失去了一个朋友,为了纪念这名战友,他就给自己的儿子冠上了战友的姓Hero。

2014年,Prince来到宁波学习物流专业,然后开始在校园和整个城市里成名。“无论走到何处,见到我的人们总是会开心地对我说‘嘿,Hero!’”他笑着说。他记得在一次重大事故中他的手臂被玻璃割破了。“在我住院期间,人们在微信朋友圈和各种社交平台上发布这个消息,祝愿我早日康复。他们的这一举动激励着我去回报他们。”

作为回馈那些一直陪伴在他身边帮助他度过难关的人的一种方式,他决定开设一家服装公司,从生产帽子着手,借此传递“希望和信心”的讯息。这个讯息从何而来呢?他的名字!Prince意识到他的名字集勇气和信心为一体,可以鼓舞人心,于是从住院期间就开始着手设计并思索他能做些什么。“我不得不重新去学如何握笔写字,有一天,当我写下自己姓名的首字母时,关于服装品牌商标的灵感就有了。”他说。

回到浙江万里学院后,Prince开始一边做设计一边寻找能够帮忙制造产品和推广理念的人。利用自己在商学院的人脉,他不仅成功找到了供应商,还在电子商务老师的帮助下开了一家淘宝店。

一开始确实遇到了一些困难,尤其是在设计方面。“在确认帽子的设计时,我注意到洗了几次后,商标上的颜色就渗色了。”于是一切从零开始,在万里一些中国朋友的帮助下,Prince终于能够确保新的设计在洗过之后不会渗色或褪色。

自从公司成立后,PH在宁波各大活动上随处可见,最近甚至出现在像侏罗纪蒸汽时代这样的本地商店里。但是,有趣的是,Prince设计的帽子和T恤在他的家乡佛罗里达州才最受欢迎。

Prince的终极目标是从长三角地区开始,将品牌扩张到全中国,同时传播公司和他个人的理念。“‘PH’或者‘Prince Hero’指勇敢自信、敢于尝试的人。”Prince若有所思地说。这个服装品牌象征着自信、渴望尝试新事物和打破成规,这种现象在中国越来越常见,因此PH虽然说不上引领改变,却绝对是正当时。


Correction | 澄清: At time of printing and publishing online, we wrote that Prince Hero was a student at Ningbo University. He is in fact a student at Zhejiang Wanli University. This mistake has since been corrected.

在五月刊杂志和网站上发表的文章中,我们提到Prince Hero是宁波大学的学生,实际上他是浙江万里学院的学生。我们特此澄清并表歉意。

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin