As if the coffee and great food weren't enough, Cafe' Brioso welcomed Branden Givand to open a pop-up retail store in the back of the cafe'. Branden first entered the retail market via t-shirt design, but now in the corner of Cafe' Brioso on High and Gay streets, you will find something at Flying Gent that oozes unique personality.
Find out more about Branden and why he is part of the downtown tribe.
How did you establish your pop-up in Cafe' Brioso?
We just clicked. I have had such a high level of respect for the people at Brioso. Their brand just aligned perfectly with what I was trying to accomplish They focus exclusively on the quality of the product and service, period; and they were trailblazers coming to that block before anyone even thought it made sense some 10 years ago. They have basically helped build that neighborhood. Most of all, they are good people and the coffee is phenomenal.
I had been coming in there for a little while. I got to know J.J., Jeff and some of the staff. They were all so down to earth. The more we talked it was pretty clear that we shared the same core values of doing business. A few months later, I wanted to design a t-shirt inspired by those guys. I came up with some designs, and they told me they really liked them. A little later yet, I approached them about the pop-up. I had been popping up all over town for awhile, but dreamed of a more permanent location on Gay Street. It only made sense. By that time, they could see how hard I work and that my brand would be an excellent complement to the coffee shop. A true win-win.
The other business owners on the block are just as down to earth. I love popping into stores like Sugardaddy's, Robert Mason, Brioso, Zer0z, Tip Top and Due Amici. I've developed friendships with so many of the business owners. It makes for the perfect community.
What are your actual hours?
My hours are Tuesday and Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. inside the most incredible coffee shop in the country, Cafe' Brioso. And you will find me at the last Moonlight Market on September 14. Stop by!
How did you get interested in fashion?
Haha. That is the question I get asked the most. I was a political science and sociology major in college, and I spent a year in law school. I'm an average dude. I'm not a fashion designer; I'm not a fasionista. I stay just in my lane. When you visit my store, the first think you will notice is that everything just kind of makes sense. That's because I am a simple guy, a practical guy from Mansfield. But I am also a city guy. I love Downtown Columbus and bigger cities like NYC, Chicago and Miami. I love OSU football. I like a good beer. I like a nice blazer and a good pair of pants I can basically wear every day. I wanted to create a brand for guys like me: simple yet complex guys. That's what my brand is about. Average dudes doing excellent things every day, without notice and without applause - just because it's right.
Back in the early 1900's, men took pride in their professions and their appearance, no matter if they were a chimney sweep or John D. Rockefeller. They wore hard-sole shoes and a jacket. So, I'm not so much "interested in fashion" as I am in being a purveyor of my own style for those who can appreciate it.
What do you think people should know about downtown?
Downtown is what WE make it. The young people of Columbus can make any neighborhood exciting, vibrant and new again. We have to create the demand. So many of the neighborhoods we live in all around the city are prosperous and booming. Downtown needs us. We can't blame the businesses for not being open late enough, the property owners for not developing enough retail space, developers for not building lower priced condos, the city for spending so much time and money on beautification, the lack of night life, or whatever excuses we want to make. There are so many good things happening downtown.
I challenge the young people of this city to really plan a day downtown and discover what is happening. When is the last time you have been to COSI? When is the last time you went to the Main Library? Have you checked out the Bike Share and ridden around downtown? Or walked across the new bridges spanning the Scioto? Have you had a burger at Ringside or been to the Pearl Market? How about a show at the Ohio Theatre? Just get down here and do something different. You won't regret it.