Pushing The Envelope with Mindless Thoughts
Let me start off with this: her name is pronounced La-Dree-Uh but you can call her Dree for short if that’s easier for you. Moss was born and raised here in the Elm City and is well known outside of her brand. She is not only insanely creative but she has stood out consistently in the community because of her sense of style and overall fashion so it’s only natural that she created a clothing line that’s taking over not just the city, but the state and beyond. I walked into the Mindless Thoughts store on 1296 State St and found Moss along with the store manager who is also her younger sister, Ci’ahna Battle, going to work on the sewing machine they have in the store. They both welcomed me with a warm smile while I prepped for our interview. Moss is notoriously shy when it comes to speaking about herself which she acknowledged is something she needs to release but nonetheless, she put herself to the test to speak candidly about Mindless Thoughts and its journey.
ASHLEY RAYMOND: What was your vision for Mindless Thoughts when you first came up with the brand? LADREA: My vision back then is at the same vision I have now. Honestly, then, I really didn't have no vision. I just wanted to do it and I wanted to have people wear my clothes. Once it got bigger and bigger, then my visions started getting bigger and bigger, but my vision was to have everybody in the city Mindless.
ASHLEY RAYMOND: How did you come up with the name Mindless thoughts? LADREA: Honestly, I didn't come up with a name. My sister came up with the name! We were in the living room one day and I told my family I wanna start a clothing line, so I was like, yo, throw out some names. We sat there for hours throwing out names. Then my sister Ci’ahna was like, ‘Mindless Thoughts’ and we was just like, oh shit!
ASHLEY RAYMOND: You mentioned that when you first started you didn't really have an idea outside of just wanting to see people in your clothes, and I think that's honestly a good place to start. I think what what happens is a lot of people have this really big idea of like what they want. So how did you keep yourself on track without losing your momentum, but also being able to bring your ideas to fruition?
LADREA: I honestly don't think I'm on track. Well, as far as step wise, yeah. I think we are, you know, taking the necessary steps to get to where we want. As far as like ideas, I be shooting out mad shit but my family keeps me on track. We set plans for the month now. So like, we'll have a meeting, talk about what we wanna do for that month, like what we want to drop and make sure we drop more pieces that we did last time so we can make more money this time.
ASHLEY RAYMOND: The expansion of the brand and how you've been able to reach people so far outside of Connecticut is an amazing thing as well. So how did you find that, uh, spark within, to really just put yourself out there?
LADREA: I don't think I'm aggressive enough. I'm very laid back. I'm very like, I don't like being in the spotlight, so I don't really do as much as I think I should. But, I think the people that were around me helped me out a lot. Like I have people in different lanes. I have a person that has his own store in Atlanta. He's the one big out there, so he makes sure they know about it out there. I have people in different states that make sure they're promote it out there.
ASHLEY RAYMOND: People often assume that when a clothing line is created, it’s a man. How do you kind of overcome navigating a space where everyone assumes that it's men doing these things?
LADREA: It's not one man in this business, all women. From the financial advisor to the store manager, the creator to everything! I think what it is too, like we don't make a lot of feminine products. I'm not very feminine. I don't know how to dress like that. I'm getting better than that. I have my sister, I mention her a lot but she's really a big part of the team. I could see how she dressed and I try to use that for designing stuff. I dress in sweatpants and I wear hoodies all the time, so I make what I wear. I use a lot of colors though and I try to make you think that it's not really men, because I use a lot of pinks and purples and stuff.
ASHLEY RAYMOND: So how do you feel that Mindless Thoughts is separate from the other brands out here in New Haven like what do you think sets you apart from them?
LADREA: I think our logos is something that you'll definitely notice. We're very consistent, so it is gonna be in your face, you're gonna see it all the time. We drop a lot a lot of different items. We drop jackets, t-shirts, hoodies, hats, like everything all at once. Our message is something that's definitely noticeable and relatable.
ASHLEY RAYMOND: Finally, I wanna talk a little bit about you getting this storefront. What was the process? How did it make you feel when you finally got it?
LADREA: I was driving down the street one day. I said: ‘yo, Bree, I seen this building. I want it’. She was like, all right, let's go get it. So next day we went and got it. We'd been talked about having a store cause we'd been selling out our trunks for some years now. It was getting to the point where it's too many clothes in our trunk and too many deliveries. So why deliver to them when we can have people come to us? Having a store is like, oh man, it's really amazing. It's a lot of work. It definitely teaches me a lot of stuff. I learn new things. It's a lot of things we're learning on our way for sure.
ASHLEY RAYMOND: Where would you like to see Mindless next? Maybe in the next two or three years?
LADREA: I'm thinking about being bigger. I definitely wanna open up another store. Just don't know where yet. I just see us like really expanding like crazy. The year so far been amazing. It's way better than what we did last year. We're only three months into this year but our numbers are way better than last year. So I definitely see extension, hopefully another store. More employees cause I'm not gonna come here every day. She's the store manager, my little sister, and I'm the boss, but I want employees and stuff. I just see us being a big brand and everybody being Mindless!
Considering Moss often shies away from the spotlight, I was more than grateful that she spoke so openly with me and gave more insight into Mindless Thoughts and her vision overall. It’s apparent and palpable the passion and love she has for all the moving parts that create a successful brand. Make sure the next time you’re in New Haven, you stop by the store and pick up something nice for yourself.