By Tori Lynn Hoke
Boston University News Service
After three years of inspiring messengers of good news, Babson College junior Rhesa Teesdale is enjoying the growing success of his clothing brand, Prophet Envoy.
Rhesa Teesdale was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and is pursuing a major in entrepreneurship and consulting. He co-founded Prophet Envoy in 2019, during his first year of college, and became sole proprietor of the company four months into operations.
Prophet Envoy is a streetwear brand that aims to inspire and motivate the community through peaceful imagery on premium quality clothing. The central theme of the company is “messenger of good news.” Teesdale’s Christian faith plays a significant role in Prophet Envoy’s concepts, but the company incorporates inspirational quotes and bible verses in its products.
When Teesdale became the owner of Prophet Envoy, he had doubts about the company, for he wasn’t sure if everyone would like his vision. He considered giving up this dream, but Teesdale’s father shared crucial business advice that changed his perspective on the whole process.
“Son, I’ve been there, and I can empathize with you, but you are going to see some growth if you continue working hard,” said Teesdale’s father.
So, when the pandemic hit and the world went into lockdown in March 2020, Teesdale saw it as an opportunity to take his father’s advice and apply it. He consciously decided to use his free time in lockdown to focus his energy on getting the business up and running.
“Lockdown gave me so much time to research and market. I was already home, and since I was on social media so much I was like, ‘What can I do to expand this business?’ I would look into the quality of products and consumer behavior for brands that mean a lot to me. How does Nike do it? How does Urban Outfitters do it? It was deep dives for hours at a time, sometimes until 4 a.m.,” said Teesdale. “That research process was the stepping stone.”
During the first two years of business, Teesdale did everything by himself. From marketing his products to processing and packing every order.
“It was tough. The success of the brand really depends on your mood and productivity during the day. But, now that Prophet Envoy is becoming a success, I am cool with doing everything myself because I see my vision better than anyone else can,” said Teesdale.
Just like any other startup, Prophet Envoy did not see immediate success. However, this did not stop Teesdale from pushing forward with the business.
According to Teesdale, the company did not experience substantial growth until September 2020. Teesdale used social media as a marketing tool to help the brand expand and reach a broader audience. With the help of TikTok and Instagram Reels, Prophet Envoy’s sales exponentially grew in April 2021.
“Social Media is a serious untapped free resource to get your name out there,” said Teesdale.
Teesdale also plans to come back to YouTube this year and create content with business tips. Additionally, he plans to leverage his social media platform to inspire other young entrepreneurs.
“There is a lot to the story that made this brand what it is, but I appreciate every minute of it. I was passionate about fashion and business, and even though I didn’t see results right away, I just kept at it,” said Teesdale.
Teesdale’s dedication to Prophet Envoy is a story of resilience, and he plans to continue pursuing this passion. He is currently working on new designs for the company, focusing on positive imagery to help the company spread motivation and inspiration. He also hopes to take the company globally.
According to Teesdale, he has no regrets. He is grateful for everything that has happened over the past three years because it has been a learning experience.
“Don’t count yourself out too early,” said Teesdale.
He is a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and he believes that he and the company are stronger for it. He hopes that his story with Prophet Envoy inspires others to pursue their dreams and continuously work toward them.