We had the good fortune of connecting with Carlos Aleman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Carlos, how do you think about risk?
Making shirts is something that I’ve found a passion for and I believe that’s all you need to put yourself out there. I am not shy, but I can be a bit of an introvert and awkward.  I am not used to being vulnerable and sharing my work was intimidating. Anyone has the ability to create, and, so, sharing my designs seemed personal.I feel like I am always second guessing myself and rethinking designs.My wife has helped me break out of my shell and take that risk. We live in a society where people feel the need to stand out and we forget that most of us are just ordinary. I want people to relate to that because it is ok to be an ordinary person doing extraordinary things.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Thank you. The first shirt I ever dropped was back in February 2020. This was a couple of weeks before the shut down. I had so many ideas that I wanted to make happen and we were put in lockdown. I started by doing a bit of custom shirts here and there. I felt that most of my original work went unnoticed. However, looking back now, I realize I learned a lot about shirt producing and designing.  In some way, lockdown became a blessing in disguise because it gave me time to work and refine my ideas. I have brought back some of my old designs and they have received some love. I’ve also learned how to use social media to promote myself and get people to notice. I think the hardest part for me is becoming more public about myself  and my brand. It is all about timing and having patience.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

My family and I are foodies. Houston is so diverse,  you can have a taste from every corner of the world. Pho soup is a must. And if we want some great pizza,  we go to Star Pizza on Norfolk. Indian food: Bawarchi Biryanis on Hillcroft. The food truck scene is also exciting to visit in Houston.

 I am not a night time guy, but Barbarella is fun on their throwback nights.

As a family, we love taking a stroll through Discovery Green. I love that park, personally, since that is the place I proposed to my wife.

Depending on the season, we go to games. The energy and pride we have here for our sports teams is like no other. The breweries are also lots of fun. I love 8th Wonder, Buffalo Bayou Brewery, and Saint Arnold’s. In a city as big and diverse as Houston, you can always find something fun to do.  Houston gets a lot of hate because of the weather and mosquitoes, but there are so many fun events every weekend.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The more I thought about this the longer the list became. My wife, without a doubt, has helped me immensely. She is someone I can always bounce ideas off of. She keeps me focused on my goals. She is supportive and lends a helping hand when I have big orders. I also want to thank my cousins who knew the how, when, and what’s of the business, they helped me out a lot. And, of course, my parents,  their love and support has been a huge inspiration to how I express myself in my work.

Instagram: jab_htx

Facebook: JAB Designs HTX

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.