“Imagine going to a concert of your favorite artist and he’s handing you the T-shirt from his merch.”
But now, you don’t have to rely on attending the concert to meet and interact with your favorite artists – you can stop in, interact with them and buy their merch at your leisure.
Five longtime friends – Chris Boyd, Keon Roman, Malik Harris, Mario Dade and Najeeb Jackson – brought that concept to their new storefront, Nami Labs on Hertel Ave. The fivesome comprises rappers in the group Mile High Muzik, and they are also designers. They combined these passions to create this new concept, where fans can purchase Mile High Muzik merch, as well as other merch, and have the feeling of buying merch at a concert. Except here, the concert feeling doesn’t end and people can keep coming back.
“We run the store here every day,” the group said. “So if you come in, you get to see the person behind the music you listen to, and see the people behind the brand you’re wearing, as opposed to buying it from a reseller.”
The merchandise that the friends sell is split into two categories – Mile High Muzik’s merch is the anchor and main brand of Nami Labs, and the rest is Nami Labs-branded merch. As art is part of hip hop culture, the Buffalo-esque undertones also appear in their merch.
The other half of Nami Labs’ layout boasts an interactive media art space, for visual artists to display their work, and for musicians to perform. As artists themselves, the friends empathize with fellow artists who struggle to find performance spots; they knew they could help their fellow artist community with this service.
“It’s kind of that effect too, just being tangible and letting people know we’re still with the people. We’re not afraid to get our hands dirty, too. We run the shop, and we’re telling you about the merchandise; we’re the salesmen, so it gives the authentic aspect as well.”
Nami Labs Instagram: @namilabshertel
Mile High Muzik Instagram: @milehighmuzik
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