Live long and prosper

A.J.+Titsworth+is+working+to+release+clothes+for+his+new+brand%3A+Prosperous.+

Sophia Beckmann

A.J. Titsworth is working to release clothes for his new brand: Prosperous.

By Tom Mueller, Kirkwood High School

A.J. Titsworth, senior, released the first designs of his burgeoning clothing brand, Prosperous, to the business’ Instagram page Nov. 30. To Titsworth, the brand’s release is the culmination of years spent thinking of a brand name. 

“I’ve been into clothes since I was in middle school,” Titsworth said. “When I was a freshman, I first [started] wanting my own clothing brand. I couldn’t find a name, though, so when I found ‘Prosperous’ I guess it just kind of clicked. [And] so I went for it my senior year.” 

The name Titsworth eventually settled on was not chosen randomly. He said he thought of the name ‘Prosperous’ after his grandmother passed away, wanting to “prosper” in memory of his grandmother and provide for his family. 

“When I was very young, my grandma would babysit me the most because my mom would be at work most of the day,” Titsworth said. “She was like my second mother. I don’t think I would be at this point [if my grandma hadn’t passed away]. I used to think about everything differently, but after that it kind of just changed how I think about everything.” 

Will Hibbard, senior, has known Titsworth since elementary school and seen this change. He believes Titsworth now has the conviction necessary for launching and operating a business. 

“I would say that he has come a little bit more out of his shell and become his own person,” Hibbard said. “In middle school or maybe even freshman year, for example, I don’t know if he would have had the confidence or the drive to share his ideas and create his own things — but now he does.”

A goal of his was to limit the extent to which he has asked friends for ideas, sending them, rather, his own designs and requesting feedback. Nick Ginocchio, a senior and friend of Titsworth since middle school, is one person who Titsworth sought advice from. 

I don’t think I would be at this point [if my grandma hadn’t passed away]. I used to think about everything differently, but after that it kind of just changed how I think about everything.”

— A.J. Titsworth

“He has been sending me his designs and thoughts for awhile,” Ginocchio said. “I’m on [both] the feedback and criticize [sides]. I’ll tell him if I think his stuff is bad or if it’s good. He’s got good ideas. He just needs to put it all together.” 

Due to restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Titsworth said the additional time he has spent at home allowed him to develop his brand further. Yet, he still felt uncertain about Prosperous’ future. Rather than accelerating his creative and production processes, Titsworth said he has waited to drop his first batch of clothes until one particular person felt they were perfect: himself. 

“There would be times where I would just want to quit,” Titsworth said. “Even probably a week ago I wanted to quit. I didn’t think people would like what I put out, which is why I’m kind of hesitant to drop [clothes]. I kind of just want to wait until everything is just perfect for me before I give it out to people and let them buy it.” 

Titsworth said he is tentatively planning to release the first collection of Prosperous clothing in January. Although he would appreciate anyone interested in the brand to buy clothes when the time comes, Titsworth said he hopes people are invested in the brand’s message — not just the brand itself.

“I don’t want anyone buying my clothing just for the hype,” Titsworth said. “I mean, there’s no hype around it yet, but, if there is going to be hype, I don’t want them buying into it because they see other kids buying into it. I want them to buy into my brand because of the meaning of the brand. I want people to actually feel what the brand is — to prosper for your loved ones. That’s what I want people to feel with my brand.”

This story was originally published on The Kirkwood Call on January 25, 2021.