Rastaclat was created by founded by Daniel Kasidi in 2010, and the Los Angeles-based entrepreneur has since spun his $4.000 venture into a multimillion dollar accessory business over the last twelve years.
Kasidi and his family immigrated from Kenya to the United States when he was 6 years old, and he began learning English from watching cartoons. As a teenager, he was inspired to convert a pair of shoelaces into a gift of friendship and positivity. But Kasidi’s creative hustle really took off during his college career at California’s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, and his vision has seen Rastaclat partner with the NBA, MLB, the Olympics, and many other global entities since then.
Recently, Rastaclat partnered with Los Angeles Rams running back (and 2x Super Bowl champ) Sony Michel to auction a pair of Michel’s shoelaces from the big game. The proceeds will go towards the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club. But there’s so much more that Kasidi and Michel want to do through this collaboration. Read on to learn how the pair expect this collab to positively impact communities around the globe.
CASSIUSLife: So Daniel, can you please tell me and the readers a little bit about how you got started with Rastaclat? What was the idea behind it? How did you kick that off?
Daniel Kasidi: Yeah, at a young age, I was just a sneakerhead and also loved skateboarding and fashion. And I used to get clothing sponsors to send me a lot of product. One day, I just had the creative mind to take an extra pair of my shoelaces and make a bracelet out of it.
I went to school the next day, and all my friends loved it and asked for that product to match their sneakers, head wear, or their clothes. And I just did that. People just kept coming to me for it. So the special thing about that is every time I gave someone the bracelet, they came back to me with some form of newfound confidence.
Somebody noticed [the bracelets] and they were inspired by my creativity and they wanted to start creating [with me]. So that’s really what got the idea of bracelet started. But also the idea of that positive mindset and intention behind the brand is how started.
Took $4,000 to date, and Rastaclat has transacted over $250,000,000 of business. We talk about chasing the American dream. Well, we’ve been able to do that over the past ten years. And we’ve been working diligently to build a business since then.
CASSIUSLife: You always talk about “seeking the positive.” But that’s not just a slogan or a motto. That’s actually the name of your foundation, right?
Daniel Kasidi: Yeah, Seek the Positive.
So in ’22, my partner at Rastaclat [Eileen Szymanski Chen] and I decided to start a foundation. And we thought about our younger selves, our 17-year-old version of ourselves, the things and resources that we wish we had back then to be able to do the things that we’re doing now.
So we started the foundation, and we wanted to make sure that there was a “give back” that Rastaclat had as its foundation. So we’ve pledged 1% of all of our net proceeds to be donated to the Seek the Positive Foundation.
The foundation really focuses on two areas. One is equality: we believe that everyone, no matter their race, gender, we all deserve the same opportunities. Knowing that we’re not all cut from the same class but need the same opportunities.
And number two is personal development: the idea of developing yourself, mentally, developing yourself from an education perspective. And really, those are two things that we champion.
So we find ways within our foundation and within Rastaclat to give back to that all throughout the year.
CASSIUSLife: I know you partnered up with a couple of people over the life of the business, and you recently worked with Sony Michel from the Los Angeles Rams. How did that partnership start?
Daniel Kasidi: First of all, we’re based in Long Beach, California. So we’re always rooting for the Rams and L.A. teams. And as the Super Bowl was coming up, we wanted to really work with Sony because we’ve seen what he’s done in Haiti and his give back to the community.
That really resonated with our brand and we thought that it would be a really cool idea to take one of his game day shoe laces from his shoes that he wore during [Super Bowl LVI] and make a “1-of-1” bracelet for auction. In sports, there are a lot of collectibles, and it’s just a way for someone to have a piece of that game that they end up winning the Super Bowl with.
Also, 100% of the proceeds of what that auction will generate will go to the community in terms of equality and personal development alongside the Boys and Girls Club. So that’s how it came about. And Sony just seemed to be just a nice guy that was also about giving back, which is right up our alley with our brand message.
CASSIUSLife: So Sony, how’s life been since winning your second Super Bowl?
Sony Michel: Oh man, it’s a great feeling. I am still celebrating!
I’ve done a lot of stuff with My Cause My Cleats over the years. When I was with the Patriots, I worked with both the Boys & Girls Club and Heading Home. I’ve focused on supporting the children from Haiti [with the Be Like Brit Foundation]. It is important to give back.
It is very important to me. My parents originally came from Haiti and raised us in Florida. Being a Haitian-American is a big part of my life. My brother and I didn’t grow up with the Boys & Girls Club when I was younger. But I have been involved with them and they do an incredible job of giving kids an outlet.
CASSIUSLife: So is Rastaclat sticking to bracelets? How else are you spreading the brand message in the brand? And how do you translate part of yourself into Rastaclat? I feel like it’s more than a business but, with everything you’re doing — whether it’s with the company or the foundation — there’s a piece of you in it.
Daniel Kasidi: Yeah, the vision is grand. We’ve been focusing on bracelets for the last ten years. We built a pretty robust global business with just bracelets.
But as we go into the back half of this year, we’re going to be coming out with full apparel collections as well as jewelry. So people can really resonate with our brand, not only in their youth, but all the way into their adulthood because that messages seek the positive resonates and should be with us for our lives and be that daily reminder. We just want to create products that our audience and our fans can really resonate with as they grow and mature as well.
I’m a firm believer of building, like an ecosystem of impact. So whether I’m out and speaking to the kids at a college or high school, or whether I’m focused on building the Rastaclat brand or whether I’m focused on how I’m going to deploy funds from the Seek the Positive Foundation.
Everything that we’re doing has a form of giving back to the community, whether it’s through resources, whether it’s through education, or whether it’s through time.
And so for me, that’s where my DNA, my personal brand and my personal passions really lie. And so everything that I do has to have that ultimate goal of giving back to the community. And so that’s been intentional to how I’ve set up that ecosystem of the brand, the foundation, and where I focus as well.
CASSIUSLife: You’ve had a lot of partnerships. That includes entities like Major League Baseball and the Olympics. And now you have this initiative with Sony. What do you think the next decade holds for you as a person, Rastaclat, and this partnership with Sony?
Daniel Kasidi: I’ll start with the partnership with Sony. I think it’s just the beginning. As you mentioned, Haiti. There’s so much to give back to that community. And Sony is such a great part of the L.A. communities. So we’re going to continue to find ways to develop initiatives to be able to give back to the causes that we’re all passionate about, whether it’s locally or internationally.
Sony Michel: This is the first of hopefully an ongoing relationship with Rastaclat. They are company whose community goals are very similar to mine. It’s very important to me to make a positive impact in my community.
And the concept [of the giveaway] is really cool, using my cleat laces to create a bracelet that’s gonna raise money for the Boys & Girls Club. I can’t wait to see what it looks like…
Daniel Kasidi: So it’s just the beginning. Just stay tuned to what the future has to offer. And with the brand vision over the next ten years for Rastaclat. Our goal is to inspire 1% of the world’s population, and we actually measure that through our impact.
[To] create an amazing product that people resonate with. People want to feel fashionable, but we also remind them every day of that mental idea of “seeking the positive,” go about every single day with that positive mindset, knowing that our reality is really shaped by our mentality.
That’s what we’re going to do as a brand. We believe as a brand that we shouldn’t just sell amazing apparel and jewelry. We should also inspire our audience and our fans throughout their lifetime.
That’s what the next ten years is about. And just a lot of growth within that. And then personally, my goal is to really be able to spearhead that with a group of amazing people and bring in really talented and passionate people. They believe in that same vision and just leave that and inspire a lot of young kids out there and give back to the community.
And not just not just build success stories for one, but have people also contribute to other people’s success stories. And that will be my journey and my vision over the next ten years.
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