Curvin was exposed to NFTE during his junior year of high school. He created a company called New Dimension Clothing with two of his then-classmates. The students started out by producing silk screened shirts that represented the various inner city neighborhoods in Boston. Their first piece was a simple statement shirt that read “Beantown” in a bold font and the various inner-city neighborhoods written below: Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan and Hyde Park.
Initially, Curvin and his partners had a short-term outlook, “We just wanted to win first place in the class competition and get an ‘A’ in the class,” says Curvin. “However, as we began to develop our clothing company, we saw the potential in what we were creating.”
Curvin and his classmates talked with local clothing retailers to learn what it would take to display the t-shirts in their retail stores. “As teenagers, we had no fear about the proper protocol, nor was there any hesitation with regard to whether the store owner would like the shirts that we produced. We made shirts that we liked, and shirts that were appealing to our age group—we knew our target audience.”
Two clothing stores offered to sell their shirts on consignment, and they were able to distribute to a third store after showing the business owner their samples. “The third store purchased a bulk order from us. We learned about wholesale orders and selling on consignment through discussions with our NFTE mentors. Joe Mahoney from NFTE was instrumental in our early success,” remembers Curvin.
Before NFTE, Curvin had learned graphic design and silk-screening through a summer art program in Boston, but he never thought about selling his designs. “The exposure to NFTE forced me to expand my thoughts,” says Curvin. “The program challenged me to think big! Without NFTE, my partners and I would not have had the proper foundation to be able to start our business while we were in high school. We were taught to think about the various distribution channels, to identify our competitive advantage, and to monitor our cash flow.”
After high school Curvin left the Boston area to study at Hampton University. In 2007, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Curvin is currently working for PNC Bank and pursuing a Master of Real Estate Finance at Georgetown University.
“I enjoyed the hard work, I enjoyed the creative process, and I enjoyed being an entrepreneur," says Curvin. Although I have moved on from New Dimension Clothing Co., I still have the entrepreneurship spirit. I am grateful that programs like NFTE exist. NFTE encourages and exemplifies possibilities.”