When I would hear the term “American Dream”, I would always scoff at it or it would make me cringe. I’m not sure why exactly but it always came off as corny to me in a sense. It sounded too cliché and there is such a vague definition on what it means. Merriam-Webster defines it as “an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity”; so basically everyone that lives in this country has the opportunity to make something out of themselves or for them self.
At the risk of sounding corny and cliché, Terroll Fields is the living embodiment of the American Dream. He is the founder and CEO of Fly Boy TCF Clothing which, in his words, “is not a clothing line but a brand.” When you hear his story, you slowly learn that Fly Boy TCF Clothing is even more than a brand but a lifestyle.
Fields, 37, was born in New Orleans’ roughest neighborhoods but despite his rough surroundings, he was determined to not become a statistic.
“I always thought outside the box and knew I was going to make something of myself” said Fields. “Even growing up, my homies recognized that and looked out for me and made sure I didn’t get into any trouble. They made sure I was successful.”
In 2005, Fields was working as a salesman in Minnesota and quickly moved up in sales and had an epiphany of sorts. If my calling is sales, why not do it myself but this time on myterms where I can reap the full benefits? So he moved to Miami in February 2008 and got into the music business for a bit and made a connection with a guy within the music industry who taught him the ropes of how to run a business the right and successful way. Armed with his new knowledge of business information, Fields, who was already selling self-made FlyBoyTCF shirts independently, headed out to Las Vegas to make FlyBoy TCF Clothing into a brand.
He arrived in Vegas and 2012 and became licensed a year later and the dream was finally starting to take shape. By the way, if you are reading this and wondering what the TCF stands for, it is not only Fields’ initials but his two daughters’ initials as well. Incredible right?
But the versatility and creativity showed in his brand is truly outstanding and one of a kind and if you if ever talk to him about it, you will hear the passion in his voice about it.
Most clothing lines cater to only a couple of audiences if that and it is typically a man’s line and woman’s line. FlyBoy does that and then some with skateboard apparel, hats, headphones and jewelry and much more to come this year and down the road. Fields also features a lion quite prominently in some of my favorite pieces personally, on a backpack and snapback hat.
“The significance of the lion is threefold”, explained Fields. “It attracted a more mature crowd to my brand, it represents my new line coming out soon and the lion is the ‘king of the jungle’ and that the latter is how I see my brand.”
Without giving too much away, the plans that Fields has for FlyBoy in the micro and macro are something else. One thing that can be shared is his men’s suit and tuxedo line, Black Luxury which, Fields says is scheduled to see the light of day in “October 2017”. Other long term plans include franchising the brand in terms of multiple brick & mortars, a sneaker and jeans line. Add with that, Fields’ having connections in China with manufacturers and taking FlyBoy global is not out of reach at all.
Speaking as a Black man myself, to see someone from your own community take charge of their own destiny and be their own boss is very inspirational. It makes it that much better when the person is easygoing and humble as well. I am not quite sure whether Terroll Fields is living the American Dream or if it is still to come but either way he is living a dream for sure.
Written by Andre Brown - @lifelovescooldre