Shop Til You Drop: Earl Mack & The Pink Box

“It’s hard to reach your goal if you never take aim”

Earl Mack of The Pink Box

Not often do you see something like you will today; with all of the creativity boosting around in our time now, moving from all different sections of peoples, styles, and ideas, it’ll be hard for you to see this again without it looking like a direct rip off. Now at this point, you’re probably wondering what it is exactly that I’m talking about. In April, the city of Richmond was given a new hidden gem to add to it’s stacking collection of interesting and creative monuments that help the city stand out. That new addition is The Pink Box, a men’s streetwear boutique located in the basement of another fabulous store called Soulei, created by Earl Mack and Shareef Mosby. While out of Richmond for school, I was very hurt off the fact that I wasn’t able to make it to the opening of The Pink Box, but more hurt off of the fact not many people even knew it existed. As I came back to Richmond, my first mission was to secure this interview in hopes of being able to present to more people inside of Richmond and out. During my visit I was able to sit down and speak with artist and store co-creator Earl Mack on his origins as well as the shops. Below you can read our short, but lengthy chat as well as see some photos of The Pink Box’s opening day!

Who are you?

Earl: My name is Earl Mack, I’m an artist and designer. And now a store owner.

What came first?

Earl: Art.

How did you get into it and make it what you do every day?

Earl: I went to school at VCU for it, studied Art and got a degree in sculpturing and just continued to pursue art after I graduated. So, I started making clothes, starting working with a lot of other different creatives, and it eventually led to me having a store. I linked up with this creative named Shareef Moseby, and a friend of mine named Hannah who owns the store above us, named Soulei. She allowed us to have a pop-up shop here, the turnout was very successful and we later were had a conversation about opening a store. At that point me and Shareef had implanted and curated our own aesthetic inside Soulei, and that aesthetic is now the Pink Box.

How did the idea for The Pink Box come about?

Earl: We talked about doing a collab together a while back, and this was last year around Winter 2016. We just had a conversation about working together and a few months later, he hit me and was like “I wanna showcase the clothes in a different way” and he’s done a lot of creative showcases in the past. So we sat down and came up with the idea of a box, and using the color pink, and from there we just took off. At first it was just and idea and next thing you know we’re in a box and we’re painting it pink.

Earl: The Pink Box now is an umbrella of Soulei, the menswear for the store, but particularly men’s streetwear. Soulei does more contemporary men’s and women’s clothing, but more on the Women’s side. Our clothes were upstairs originally but it didn’t fit the aesthetic of Soulei so doing this pop-up and having this space now is very ideal for what we’re trying to do. Hannah was super on board with letting us come in and do our own thing down here, so that’s where we’re at now.

Miniature Pink Box Gallery

How would you all say the creative thinking process combined between you and Shareef was able to create this?

Earl: The name of the collab at first was called “Take Aim” and the premise behind that was, it’s hard to reach your goal if you never take aim; like the goal is a target, right? And we’re taking aim at something and trying to achieve something, so that’s where the name originated from. From that, our main color in our collab was pink. We wanted to take a color that’s always considered feminine and give it a masculine touch by making a men’s streetwear store. It was just some real outside of the box thinking hahaha, like the Pink Box also has other meanings as well you know? Some sexual, some crazy, and we’re still in the early stages of it. We’re designers of our own, Shareef has his own branded called Victim15 and I have my own as well, Earl Mack, so we’re always thinking creatively on how to do more while still staying ourselves and staying outside the box.

What are the Pink Box’s plans for the future?

Earl: To expand honestly; just to continue to grow our brands inside the Pink Box as well as the Pink Box as a brand itself. People know we’re here because Soulei is already here, so when walking past the store you may see a sign but you don’t really know we’re down here. But expect to see more soon, like of course we’ll have merchandise and we also offer consignment on certain pieces as well. We just want to compliment this environment that we’re apart of now, and we want to contribute to the scene here. We want to be another hidden gem for the people in Richmond. Because we have our own atmosphere, like our section is the store is almost like it’s own realm in a sense. You come down from Soulei, which is a whole different store, and you’re in this brand new atmosphere as soon as you walk down those steps. And we have so much room to build off of so we just wanna keep this here, for the people to enjoy.

Do you have any words for anyone in your same position? Someone looking to open a store, but don’t know what direction to go in as far as giving a different vibe for their environment.

Earl: Try to connect to the people around you and know who you’re going to connect with. Not everyone is going to catch your wave, so connect to the people who are like-minded. You want to work with the people who have the same vision as you, you don’t wanna be clashing with ideas. And be more accessible! We’re trying to be more accessible to the public so you can follow us on Instagram (@_thepinkbox), and just go for it. We don’t have everything figured out and we’re still learning as we go.

For more information and news about The Pink Box and it’s releases, you can follow them on Instagram for their latest updates. We hope you enjoy!