Liberty City entrepreneur goes from selling shirts on street to owning store

MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida man who used to sell T-shirts out of his car is now celebrating his new a brick-and-mortar store in Liberty City.

For store owner Eric Wooden, his hard work is all paying off after he turned his T-shirt business into a trade.

“I wanted to put a brick-and-mortar business in Liberty City where I’m from,” Wooden said.

He officially opened his first clothing store, The Cool, in his hometown. “We have hats, pants, shorts, we have the whole nine yards,” he said. “It’s a one-stop shop.”

Wooden told 7News that he started designing shirts and selling them out of his car before he could land his first major retail account. From there, the business took off.

His sister, Erica, said the grand opening took a lot of dedication and determination.

“Overjoyed, emotional. I’m so happy that this day has finally come,” she said, “something he’s been working on for five years and he stuck with it, so I’m very proud of him.”

Customers said they haven’t seen clothing like this in South Florida. “I saw this kind of art only in L.A.,” said customer Victor Solis. “I’m glad that I can find it here in Miami, so please come to the store and support the community.”

The store owner has recently enrolled to go back to college in hopes of graduating with a degree in business this year.

“I finally saw the light,” he said. “I’m working, and I’m grinding.”

Wooden said he hopes that his success will inspire others in his community. “Just take your time. Make sure it’s really what you want to do ’cause you have to invest a lot time, money, etc. and you are going to make mistakes but never give up,” he said.

His best piece of advice is “live life cool.” He made one of his first shirts with that phrase, and it’s stuck with him.

“Still the best shirt I ever made,” Wooden said. “The best shirt I ever made to me.”

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