A young Florida Southern student has started a clothing line in order to give back to his community.
David Balandi, a 19-year-old business administration and accounting major, started his company Balandi Inc. last summer. His company sells exercise and streetwear clothing.
“I was just practicing for basketball, and I realized how bored I was,” Balandi said. “After that, I talked to my brother and said, ‘Okay, I think I’m going to start a business.’”
Shortly after, Balandi was hard at work building his company. He spent most of his days trying to figure out what exactly his company would sell. He would finally settle on fashion before moving on to the name. Balandi went through 50 logo designs before finally choosing his current logo.
His motto is ‘For the kids’, and the company holds a high standard to that. Balandi is using the funds from his fashion store to provide toiletries, clean water and clothes for children in an orphanage home in Burkina Faso. Even though Balandi is originally from Chad, he attended high school in Burkina Faso and has visited the orphanage a few times.
When asked why he focused on exercise clothes, Balandi laughed. “I have always loved to stay active. I believe sports can build discipline in children,” Balandi said. “It’s also just a lot of fun for me and them.”
Aside from maintaining his business, many of Balandi’s responsibilities include balancing involvement in the community and school.
Balandi wants to be an inspiration for his community in Africa. He deeply believes that helping people in need is the most important thing to him, and he wants customers to understand that when they choose to wear his clothes.
“The most difficult thing to me was putting it all together,” Balandi said.
In five years, Balandi believes he should have a solid foundation in Lakeland. After his audience grows, he wants to expand to other cities in central Florida and then throughout the rest of America before moving on to other countries.
“The thing that I want the most for my company is being personal,” Balandi said. “You don’t always see big CEO people coming down to talk to their workers. I want to change that.”
Balandi wants to incorporate as much diversity as possible when it comes to his company’s image. He plans on making a major difference one person at a time