To Darian “Fitz” Fitzgerald and Jordan Sloan, the originators of Foreign Finesse, their entrepreneurial idea to make clothing with a message is taking over Bloomington, IN and beyond. For Fitz, his passion might be fashion, and for Jordan, his passion is group fitness, but with the connecting factor that, “Foreign Finesse is more than a brand, but a mentality,” they each show and inspire others to “finesse their opportunities” to attain their own dreams, no matter what your particular art form or creativity might in.
Jordan: “With art, you’re expressing yourself, and this is our chance to express ourselves, but with meaning behind it too. It’s interesting to see this idea translated into different forms. Like with Echo Dance Company, it’s dance.”
Fitz: “The purpose is to kind of translate it to your own preferred work. Like me, I study fashion, so the clothes made sense to me.”
Jordan: “And for me, it’s group fitness and pushing that message of motivation.”
One of the duo’s main tag lines, #nevernotworking, is a testament to their dedication to get their business off the ground. “If you’re always thinking about that, how can you not reach your goals? People think we’re doing well with the brand right now, and we’ve been up for a year and a half, but that’s because we’re constantly grinding it out,” said Fitz.
EDC: What was the reason for choosing this name for your company?
Fitz: “Finesse was just kind of a trendy word, and I wanted a word that made it different, that went away from the regular lifestyle. So Foreign is like a different thing, different customs.”
Jordan: “And our logo, the black origami flamingo, which looks like an F for Foreign, is also representing a foreign practice of origami. Finesse originally came from handling a situation with grace and poise.”
EDC: Where do you find the balance between “never not working” and not getting burnt out?
Jordan: Us believing in this so much has helped add to our success. You know, people will tell us, ‘You’ve just gotta keep pushin,’ or, ‘We believe in you,’ and that’s humbling to hear that. Like, Wow! That just adds to the motivation.
Fitz: It’s easy to feel weighed down sometimes, but you just have to believe in your idea. And how can you be successful if you don’t believe in yourself? When we are successful, that adds to the motivation to keep going farther. You kind of have to speak your goals into existence.
Jordan: I like to watch motivational speakers to help wake me up, get me started for my day. I could be sleepy and tired after working on a certain project for a period of time, feel like quitting, but if I just move on to a new project for a bit, I feel a renewed sense of motivation to keep going.
As Foreign takes their idea into a wider umbrella of opportunities, they reminisced on how they could already see their friends thrive with the Foreign Finesse mentality.
Fitz: “Long-term, the goal is to motivate and encourage others to bring certain things out of themselves that they didn’t think was possible.”
“It takes a community. It’s not just one person, it’s adding to the community. A perfect example is Hector Carmona, a local DJ and our friend who we started helping, and he helps to motivate us! At this point, we refer him and he refers us. There’s also Laurel Williams – He’s a photographer and videographer that we work with to get our marketing.
For example, Foreign Finesse took part this spring in Midwest Fashion Week at Avanti’s show. “We clothed models, and that was the first time we did anything like that, so that was cool,” stated Fitz. Foreign will also be working on the MGM Flag Football Game – “Hector Carmona will is DJing there, and he has now gotten involved with that, so we would love to help with that. You know, we all grow together.”
“Right now, we’re testing our limits. You know, we just got shotglasses. No other brands really have that. We’re really excited about our lingerie line,” said Fitz. “And eventually we might even play with a golf line, so there are a lot of possibilities,” stated Jordan.
EDC: What would you say is your biggest message to anyone who hears of the “Live Foreign” brand?
Jordan: To build a mentality in our friends and others to be inspired to create something, like their own company or a brand. We want to share that message by displaying our brand on clothing. Even if we could motivationally speak or something, as long as we were showing others that they too can fuel their creative passion, that would be cool.
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