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AN UNAPOLOGETIC LIFESTYLE BRAND


AN UNAPOLOGETIC LIFESTYLE BRAND By Tricia Ross Photo Credit to Paul S. Stafford

A group of veterans launched . an unapologetic lifestyle brand at a time when other businesses were shuttering, but at the precise moment Americans needed their message the most. The high-profile deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery fueled these veterans to take action by amplifying a message of diversity and unity throughout the military community. Ruben Ayala, Curtez Riggs, Rod Graham, and Christopher McPhee, founders of Triple Nikel Apparel, all served in the Army. Now, in their civilian lives, they have bonded over a common mission of making change. "When many folks look at us, they may not see us as veterans. We are not the public-facing persona America typically has for veterans or even patriots. We looked across the military. We looked across the veteran spouse community. We looked for diverse voices. We looked for diverse entrepreneurs. We looked for the influential people in our space that promoted diversity inclusion. We found that most of the companies serving our community focus on a very particular demographic. "That doesn't include the 48% of the community that is African Americans, Hispanic, and Asian. When we look for an influential community organization that would inspire diversity inclusion, and when there wasn't one, we opted to create one, " said Riggs, who retired from the Army in 2018. and how she improves her craft With the success of other military apparel companies, Triple Nikel’ s founders knew there was a market for such products but also recognized a void that existed for a more inclusive brand.



From concept to launch, these individual entrepreneurs — who had no background in fashion or apparel — came together to open the virtual doors of this new venture in less than 90 days. And every aspect of the business was built with meaning.


They chose the motto of "we served, too" to amplify the voices of all veterans. The company’s moniker pays homage to the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion (nicknamed the Triple Nickles), an all-black airborne unit in the Army during World War II. The founders said it was fitting to create a company that elevated stories of those who came before them, so, with the blessing of the 555th Parachute Infantry Association, Triple Nikel became a reality.


Though the brand is still in its infancy stage, its team based business model has set the company up for success. Its founders have leaned on many of the core values they gained from military service, including working as a cohesive unit to accomplish one mission. Each founder has experience and knowledge in certain areas, and they trust in each other.


Ayala’s Masters in Business Administration and experience in retail guided him to serve as CEO, CFO, and Founder, building a culture of change around the brand. Riggs, a known influencer and community builder, uses his relationship-building skills to establish brand awareness from coast to coast. Graham uses his logistical skills to lead operations, and McPhee ’ s background in project management and media production gave him the cutting edge know-how to get the brand exposure. Triple Nikel is committed to changing culture, not just in the military apparel industry but throughout the military and veteran communities.


The military is a big melting pot, and our community should be at the forefront of cultural change, ” Riggs said. Raising awareness and working to recognize all military service members as a unified force is the mark Triple Nikel intends to make on the military apparel industry.


Visit https://triplenikel.com/ to shop Triple Nikel’ s products, including the latest collection called UNITY.

"When many folks look at us, they may not see us as veterans. We are not the public-facing persona America typically has for veterans or even patriots. We looked across the military. We looked across the veteran spouse community. We looked for diverse voices. We looked for diverse entrepreneurs. We looked for the influential people in our space that promoted diversity inclusion. We found that most of the companies serving our community focus on a very particular demographic. "That doesn't include the 48% of the community that is African Americans, Hispanic, and Asian.

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