In 2008, with nothing more than a folding table, a stack of hand screened Tees and a dream, Brett Stein embarked on an ambitious venture to build NY State of Mind into a well known & respected brand that reflected his love of authentic NYC street culture (specifically Hip Hop, skateboard and street art). Despite having no background in design, silk screening, sales, web design or any industry connections, Brett was determined to figure out how to make a living selling his hand screened tees featuring his original designs in the streets of NYC. After many years and ever more lessons learned/stripes earned, NY State of Mind is now worn by many of the pillars of these communities that were the original inspiration for it and is available in some of NYC’s best streetwear/sneaker stores.

For Brett, a NY state of mind is a mentality of believing in yourself and your craft to the point that you are willing to lay it all on the line and make whatever sacrifices are necessary to accomplish your dream and live up to your potential. Unlike founders of most streetwear brands, Brett was less motivated by the opportunity to be in the limelight or make easy money as he was interested in being a part of/contributing to this culture he loved and had given so much to him. He would always say that success for him was to be respected by the people he respected and the fact that many of his favorite rappers (from the Wu Tang Clan to Prodigy) wear NYSM or that he regularly collaborates with graffiti legends such as Al Diaz & Sket One on new designs is a testament to the power of dreaming and putting in the hard work to achieve it, which is in essence exactly what a “NY state of mind” is. Because it's all about the journey and not the destination, Brett continues to push forward; setting his sights on loftier goals for the brand and positioning it to be able to give back even more. From working with the Harold Hunter Foundation, a much loved charity dedicated to uplifting young, underprivileged skateboarders in NYC employing more of his talented friends to help grow the brand, Brett understands that you must give before you get and that it is important that each one teaches one.

At the end of the day, it's all about building community and laying down a foundation for the next generation to build on.  If nothing else, Brett hopes NY State of Mind will be an inspiration to young people to believe in themselves and relentlessly pursue what they want in life.