Danielle Gilbert / The Collegian
Tired of buying brands that don’t impress, Allen Robateau, 19, created his own clothing line — Phaymus Lifestyle.
Phaymus Lifestyle can be seen worn on a few celebrities like NBA players- Brandon Jennings, point guard from the Milwaukee Bucks; and Stephan Curry, point guard from the Golden State Warriors. Another Phaymus Lifestyle celebrity customer is R&B and Soul artist, Mateo.
With the idea in mind that everybody has the aspiration of making it and becoming famous, Phaymus Lifestyle was born.
“I did not want to just call it Phaymus Clothing,” said Robateau “I wanted my company’s brand to be a way of living. The inspiration behind Phaymus Lifestyle is the finer things in life that people aspire for.”
Phaymus Lifestyle is a unisex’s clothing line targeted to college students between the ages of 18 to 24. Robateau’s clothing line includes: shirts, sweaters, sweat suits, tank tops, crew necks, hats, polos, cardigans and socks. Robateau wants to provide his customers with a celebrity look without having to sacrifice style to save money.
“My ideal customer is someone who respects well founded designs and is ambitious. I express my emotions through fabrics and designs. Every piece I create has a message behind it like ambition,” Robateau said.
Phaymus Lifestyle was created after Robateau was introduced to Stephanie Reilly, CEO of POParazzi Jewelry- a vintage bottle cap jewelry company.
Reilly, 21, said at first she did not know whether Robateau had what it takes to start a business because he did not know anything.
“I wasn’t sure if Allen was committed,” Reilly said. “However, he proved himself in one week. He is very hungry and ambitious. I speak with a lot of entrepreneurs who talk-the-talk but do not put any actions into it.”
Reilly helped Robateau established recommendations and connections to help him launch Phaymus Lifestyle. One connection Reilly was given — Dalitso Ruwe, a senior studying cultural anthropology and entrepreneurship.
Ruwe helped put together a fashion show through USUP (University Student Union Productions) in the spring of ’09. He featured Robateau as one of the designers in the fashion show.
“Allen is a trend setter, he has a grasp of the lifestyle that college students would love to have,” Ruwe said. “He’s always coming up with new ideas that have a positive impact on the environment. It’s humbling to meet somebody who has a focus on others’ happiness as much as his own.”
Robateau is in the Entrepreneur Mentorship Program (EMP) which is also offered through the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, an entrepreneurial center located in the Student Recreation Center. The program connects students with local successful professionals.
“You learn personal and business advice from your mentor,” Robateau said. “As well as their failures, successes and how they come up.”
Through the EMP, Robateau was partnered with John Stewart, president and CEO of Pearson Realty. “Allen has a passion for his clothing business and is willing to learn all he can to be a success,” Stewart said. “Doing something you enjoy can overcome many hurdles.”
This year Robateau entered Phaymus Lifestyle into a Dream It! Win It! student business plan competition, which is also offered through the Lyles Center. Winners will be announced in May and will receive cash prizes and office space in the Lyles Center Hatchery.
Robateau is currently working on the second season of his clothing line titled “Finally Phaymus.”
“My first season, ‘Broke to Become Phaymus,’ is just me paying my dues. And ‘Finally Phaymus’ is my designs finally getting out there,” he said. “I am letting people know what Phaymus Lifestyle is about.”
In five years, Robateau’s goal is to make Phaymus Lifestyle mainstream in boutique and retail stores nationwide. He wants to collaborate with celebrities on pieces, and add shoes, denim, eyewear, luggage and school supplies to Phaymus Lifestyle.
If there is one quote Robateau lives by it is, “Quitting requires no talent.”
“Anything can get you down, but it is about how you get back up that determines your character,” he said. “It is easy to give up on my business or give up on school to go to work, but I’m not going to do that. I know only time will tell how things turn out. It’s about persistence.”