Tex Moton Of YUMS: “Lastly, always spread joy!”

Lastly, always spread joy! This world has enough dark days, so be that light. People always remember the ones who made them smile….you never know the impact you can make in someone’s life! As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of […]

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Lastly, always spread joy! This world has enough dark days, so be that light. People always remember the ones who made them smile….you never know the impact you can make in someone’s life!

As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tex Moton.

Tex Moton is the Chief Creative Officer for YUMS, Co-Founder of the elite graffiti artist collective, Infinite Crew (aka I.C.), and legendary street artist. As the designer and creative mastermind behind YUMS since the beginning, Tex reimagined how YUMS thought about collections, designs, and product development by including unexpected details, like graffiti art on the soles of the shoes that can be seen through translucent bottoms. A refreshingly unique creative talent, Tex drew inspiration from his favorite foods and snacks to conceptualize YUMS’ signature style, and his use of lively colors, rich fabrics, and clean design lines changed the way people connect with sneakers.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I’ve always been into art since I was a little kid — drawing all the time, literally all the time! As far as my love for fashion, that manifested itself a bit later in life, right around the time I found my artistic voice through graffiti. All these elements really poured the foundation for where we are now with YUMS!

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Our goal is to be disruptive in the way people connect and relate to sneakers, and we achieve this through a creative and unexpected fusion of snacks, treats, and art….that’s what is different about YUMS. It’s that feeling of happiness and excitement you get from the flavors!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

For me, my funniest mistake is only so in hindsight. As a kid from the streets, the sneakers you wore showed your status, and at the top of that culture resided the giant, Nike. As a kid with that mentality, I was inspired by the brand and thought we had a mutual love and appreciation for each other. As I grew up, I chased the American dream of creating my own sneaker brand, YUMS, but as I started hitting my stride and the brand grew more successful, I got a letter. It was Nike telling me to burn my sneakers up and make my exit from “their” industry. Fast forward many years, countless sleepless nights, and all the money we used to build the YUMS brand, we found ourselves in the US Supreme Court. We fought Nike with everything we had in order to stay alive through the 4+ year legal battle, and in the end, we really got what we needed from the case. Nike issued YUMS the first-ever covenant not to sue, and here we are now launching our YUMS’ sneakers again. We worked around the clock the past 8 years after the lawsuit ended, saved our money, and are now investing in making YUMS the special brand it has always been.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

My mom, Joan Moton, is the single biggest influence on the way I approach life, relationships with people, and hard work. Her firm belief in God molded the man I have become and the person I strive to be in the future.

My longtime friend and business partner JP McDade played an equally huge role in shaping the way I approach business from a dedication standpoint. We have learned so much from each other through the many ups and downs of chasing our dreams together!

My lovely wife, Linda LA Moton, is the glue that holds it all together for me. She is the center of our family and my constant daily reminder of God’s love and hand in my life. Thanks for putting up with all my craziness! Love you, babe!

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

I believe it’s extremely valuable to be disruptive when it provides people an outlet to express themselves, to be heard, and to be seen! These massive corporations are well-oiled machines and aren’t in favor of letting small, independent, underdog brands in. I believe it’s essential to kick open the doors and wedge your foot in to keep it cracked for others to follow behind. We built this culture, so it’s time for our due place at the dinner table!

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

First off “Never Give Up”…keep your hand to the plow. The finish line is always closer than you think. Keep grindin’!

Secondly, find the void in the market you can fill, and fill it! Pour yourself into it, like wet cement. It’s your spot!

Lastly, always spread joy! This world has enough dark days, so be that light. People always remember the ones who made them smile….you never know the impact you can make in someone’s life!

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

It feels like I’m just getting started! I’m very blessed to be able to touch people through my art, and I have so much more to share with you all. Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun ride!!

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

The most influential book I’ve ever read and that has hit me to my core with wisdom, strategy, encouragement through adversity remains to be the Bible. Read it, it’s amazing…. I promise!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite Life Lesson Quote….Never trust a skinny chef! YUMS celebrates our love for life by an emotional connection of happiness through snacks and treats. Trust me I’ve done plenty of homework on this subject…you can’t tell?!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

There are a few legacies I want to leave people with: be a good person, and have and protect your values. I hope to encourage others to respect people, their time, and their energy as well as inspire the next generation…for me, this is big! I want people to know where I came from — a broke kid from the streets — and to see themselves in my story. The world needs what you have to offer! Let’s do it! Lastly, I want to always be the greatest influence to everyone I have the pleasure to meet and to guide them to the best desserts this world has to offer!! Follow me!

How can our readers follow you online?

You can check out www.yumslife.com and follow @yumslife and @texmoton on Instagram.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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