Isaac Creswell is the 18-year-old founder, owner, and designer behind the NowLetMeBall clothing brand. The designer was born incarcerated and raised by his grandmother for roughly 15 years because his mother often had conflicts with the law. Isaac grew up in Vallejo, California a small city in the bay area, with a passion for playing sports and went to school 15 minutes away from home. Isaac became such a skilled athlete that he began to gain recognition from coaches and scouts! In the second year of his high school career, he was recruited by a coach for basketball and was assigned to a new school. During the time of his transition, Isaac’s biological mother entered a custody battle, in order for her son to live with her and closer to his new school. His residency with his mother lasted for two years before he moved in with his father. Creswell then completed the remainder of his high school career while living with his father. Throughout his four years in high school, Isaac was a student who continually achieved honor roll and stayed out of trouble. In fact, while he was a basketball player at his school, he was also able to help break some records for his school’s team!
The athlete and designer explained that his passion for fashion and creating clothes sparked from living with his grandmother. Growing up, his grandmother was not able to afford “all the extra stuff”. As a child Isaac could not understand why others around him had nicer shoes than him, or wore certain things that he did not, therefore he shifted his perspective and told himself, “well, at least if I can’t afford designer, I could just make my own clothes.” For Isaac, this gave him an extra pep in his step knowing that he was adding a custom touch to his clothes. He would even find himself taking plain T-shirts to the mall to have them customized right in front of him. Unconsciously, this was the beginning of Isaac’s interest in creating and designing his very own clothes, “ I never really thought about it until like I got older, like now.”
By his second year of high school, Isaac began to feel a strong new desire to create his own brand. “I really got tired of […] working and stuff, and I was like, I just really wanna find something to do, to invest in myself.” It was while the 18-year-old designer was in this state of mind that he came up with the name of his business. Part of Isaac’s inspiration for his business came from G Herbo, one of his favorite artists, who is associated with a brotherhood widely known as N.L.M.B., an acronym that also translated to ‘Never Leave My Brother,’ a popularly known phrase and brotherhood in the bay area. From that point onward, Isaac began his journey, but it did not start off seamlessly. The young designer openly expressed that in the beginning, his work was “sloppy,” and that his first year in business did not go as planned, hence he decided to take a break from his entrepreneur endeavors for about a year.
In January 2020, Isaac was ready to hop back into the fashion industry and show off what he had to offer. After months of trial and error, Isaac knew that he could do better and decided to completely rebrand NowLetMeBall and go harder! “I came up with a new logo, new design… then I did my first release this March 2020, and it was successful.” Fortunately for Isaac, the pandemic did not hold him back and has done more good than harm for his brand by bringing more customers from near and far.
NowLetMeBall is a brand that stands apart from many because everything about NowLetMeBall is visioned, drafted, and handcrafted, making the brand that much more original and harder to find anywhere else! “Me growing up, it felt like I almost threw my life away and it was like a second chance almost, when I was able to…move in with my dad and just start fresh.” Hence, the CEO stated that the purpose of NowLetMeBall was to create streetwear for youth that conveyed a message of perseverance. He wanted people to know that they could overcome adversity as well with hard work, and dedication!
One of Isaac’s many goals for his business is for his brand to blossom into a “brand legacy” like Nike. Isaac also aspires to help other youth by providing lessons on entrepreneurship, brand building, and earning income “without having to do anything wrong for it,” to kids and teens. He also plans to one day start little leagues, baseball leagues, and basketball clinics for, and powered by, NowLetMeBall!
Closing out our conversation with the young designer, we asked him to leave us with some words of advice for other aspiring designers, and these were his words of wisdom, “You have to start somewhere first of all and […] don’t let anyone tell you ‘You can’t do that’ because at the end of the day you’re the only person in control of your life […] Don’t be nervous about where to start. You have to start somewhere whether it’s good or bad, it’s just about starting it! And I feel like starting is always the hardest part.”
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