Buzz Busbee is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of ABETTERBUZZ Brand Goods, an LGBTQ apparel company with some amazing designs in bear friendly sizes. Here’s Buzz giving you an insight into himself and the company:
Born and raised in the South. Grew up in Western NC and did my undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. Though I wasn’t a fine artist, I was interested in design and had strong loyalties to brands that I loved. I discovered the Portfolio Center in Atlanta and did my post-graduate studies there in Design and Art Direction. After finishing the 2-year program there, I packed my bags and moved to Seattle on the west coast. Shortly after moving there, I was hired on as a designer in the Starbucks Global Creative Studio, a job that would change the trajectory of my career. It was at Starbucks that I really learned about branding and retail. While in Seattle, I met a man from back in Atlanta that also moved to Seattle for his career. We moved back to Atlanta where I continued working in branding design and began teaching branding design courses at my alma mater, Portfolio Center. Today, I run my own branding studio, which has allowed me to turn some focus to creating and growing ABETTERBUZZ Brand Goods.
I love design and being a designer. I also love clothes that fit well and are comfortable and make people feel good. For years, my friends told me they thought my work would translate well to apparel. In 2015, while in Ptown, with the encouragement from my husband, I decided to take the leap in creating a lifestyle brand.
ABETTERBUZZ Brand Goods is geared towards the LGBT community, with our primary following being the “Bear” community, but inclusive of everyone. We create apparel and accessories inspired by urban and rural adventure. Our products are bold, graphic design inspired apparel and accessories. We design and produce high quality, small batch products for affordable prices that are accessible to everyone. We also have a program called our “LIVE BOLD” program, that is part of our business model, that gives back $1 of every purchase to Lost-n-Found Youth. Lost-n-Found Youth is and Atlanta-based non-profit organization whose mission is to take homeless LGBT youth up to age 25 off the street and transition them into more permanent housing.
We were established in 2016 and have received an overwhelming response for only being a little over 1 year old. This is motivation to to grow the brand and have more people find become a part of the ABETTERBUZZ culture. This is all very new to us…it’s exciting to be challenged by something new and to get positive support, feedback, etc from friends and customers. At first, I pretty much knew everyone that purchased goods from ABETTERBUZZ. Now in year 2, more often than not, I don’t personally know customers that buy apparel from us all over the world. That’s exciting to me, and although I don’t personally know everyone, I try and keep the brand very personal and approachable. I’m constantly connecting with customers on Instagram and Facebook, taking the time to personally respond to everyone that reaches out.
Currently, we sell at local festivals/markets in Atlanta, but most of our business is through our online store, abetterbuzzbrandgoods.com. Although we want to stay small and produce goods in small batches, we are looking to expand ABETTERBUZZ gear in boutique retail stores across the country over the next few years. Eventually, we want to see ABETTERBUZZ known and loved by everyone in the LGBT community. We want people to feel good and proud about being a part of the ABETTERBUZZ culture. As we continue to grow, we want to give more back to our communities that tirelessly work so that those less fortunate than us in the LGBT community can have better lives.
Follow ABETTERBUZZ on Facebook here.