Tyrik Davis leads a life full of authenticity, positivity and confidence — and his apparel brand Dare to be /Yer’self/ is a reflection of that. He talks about embracing individuality, his efforts to support frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and how he dares to live his best life no matter what
By Ashlyn Delaney
Featured photo via @tyd.davis
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your professional background.
My name is Tyrik Davis, also known as Ty Davis, and I’m the founder/CEO of Dare to be /Yer’self/. My background is interesting because my undergraduate degree is in communications with a minor in business administration from Spring Arbor University. While attending Spring Arbor I became the first black student body president. I always knew I would lead in some way, I just didn’t know what organization I would be the leader of.
2. What inspired you to start your clothing line, Dare to Be /Yer’self/, and what is the message behind the brand?
I started Dare to be /Yer’self/ at one of the lowest moments in my life. I was searching for a job in corporate America after being let go from a technology software company. I searched for months upon months, but I still wasn’t finding anything. That’s when I decided to launch Dare to be /Yer’self/. Before I even had a website, I was taking payments through Cashapp and Venmo. I’m not super business-savvy, so I am so incredibly thankful for the team that I have for helping me grow this business.
Dare to be /Yer’self/ is a motivational/inspirational brand that champions individualism and encourages everyone to live as their most authentic self. More specifically, we specialize in apparel that promotes positive sentiments. As part of this mission, each month, the company rolls out a new theme, focusing on a more nuanced concept to celebrate.
3. Can you share a little bit about what your brand has been doing to help support the COVID-19 pandemic and front line workers?
Dare to Be /Yer’self/ introduced an innovative campaign to provide frontline workers, such as doctors, nurses, police officers, grocery store employees, and many others with the gratitude and motivation they deserve for the extraordinary effort and sacrifices they are making for the wellbeing of our community. For every purchase of a Dare to Be /Yer’self/ shirt, we in turn provided a free shirt reading “dare to be #onthefrontline” to an essential worker. In addition, we teamed up with Papa’s Pizza in Oak Park and Berkley to provide a meals for those working on the front lines.
4. In honor of Pride Month back in June, you released a special edition tie-dye t-shirt that benefits the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit. Can you share more about this project?
In June, we released our limited edition tie-dye Pride t-shirt. A portion of the proceeds from each t-shirt purchase is donated to the Ruth Ellis Center — a shelter for homeless and at-risk LGTBQIA+ youth located in Highland Park, Michigan. The center provides an array of healthcare and support services to approximately 600 youths, many of whom are Black.
5. What’s your favorite thing about being a small business owner?
Being able to wear whatever I want when I want. (Just kidding!) In all honesty, I don’t look at myself as a business owner but as a teammate because without our team, I’m nothing.
6. Can you share any career highlights or moments you are most proud of thus far?
I’m most proud of expanding our business to feature infant, toddler and youth sizes, along with focusing on our goal: growing the business to be a Fortune 500 company one day.
7. Dare to Be /Yer’self/ promotes confidence and individuality. What advice do you have for others who want to embody that mindset?
Try to not to worry about what others think about you and always stay true to yourself.
8. What makes you feel confident and authentic? How do you stay true to yourself?
I find meditation really helpful to recenter myself, accept my past, challenge my current self and prep for my future.
9. Any fun projects in the works for Dare to Be /Yer’self/? What’s next?
I’m currently working on a special project with a Fortune 500 company; stay tuned! I also applied to pitch Dare to Be /Yer’self/ for Detroit Demo Day (fingers crossed!).
10. If you weren’t a small business owner what would you be instead?
A celebrity stylist or a therapist.
Now onto some fun…
11. What was your first job growing up?
I worked at a hair salon answering phones.
12. What’s currently on your playlist?
A lot of Summer Walker, Kaash Paige, Cardi B and Megan The Stallion.
13. What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
“The Sweet Life of Zac and Cody” and “Rugrats.”
14. Three things you can’t live without?
My phone, my computer and Frank’s hot sauce.
15. Dream vacation destination?
Bali and Thailand.
Local Love Questions…
16. Your current favorite local spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
17. Your favorite place to shop locally in Metro Detroit?
18. Your go-to for a good cup of coffee?
19. What do you love about Detroit?
I love that the city is up and coming and I get to play a part in making history.
20. Favorite quote or words to live by?
“The best is yet to come.” No matter what’s going on in my life, I always remind myself of that.