We are ecstatic to highlight Dareales, a clothing brand with deep roots in Dorchester, a #blackowned and #familyrun business. Located at 1658B Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02122, Dareales is the brainchild of owners Christopher Bray, Jerome Warren and Tru Bray. They all grew up in Dorchester and have deep ties to the community. Bray and Warren attended East Boston High School. It was during their time together at East Boston High School that Bray and Warren officially developed the model and plan for the brand.
Bray has always had a passion for design, art, sketching and structure. Bray added “I thought I would either design buildings or clothing. I still may end up doing both. However, fashion allows me to be more creative, less restrictive, and not be confined to any limitations – so I embraced fashion first.”
Bray always admired the ability of fashion and style to express individuality, and when partnered with the business savvy of Warren, it was evident the fashion brand had a place in the market. The line was solidified when the duo attended college in Atlanta GA.
Dareales’ (the realest) motto is “Made for Real, Comfortable Everywhere”. The brand is a state of mind that embodies individuality without sacrificing what you believe in or your personal and authentic style. It is really about being true to who you are. Real.
At Dareales, they believe that “in life there are people that have the ability to draw a crowd without being like the crowd, but by being themselves.” Dareales makes garments with a street-edge and a timeless clean cut look. They live by the slogan “REAL RECOGNIZE DAREALES.” Their goal is to create clothing that is rich in quality and detail. Their pieces are inspired by art, different cultural fashion and expression, street wear, industrial environments, music, vintage pieces, and nostalgia.
When you walk into the shop for the first time you will be blown away by the level of design and craftsmanship that the owners of Dreales have put into the shop. It resembles an art gallery more than the typical clothing store. A clean interior design that is spacious with unique design features that have been hand picked by Bray, whose vision of the store has come full circle with the addition of brand new signage that makes the shop stand out on the outside as well as on the inside.
The sky is the limit for Dareales. They plan on expanding their reach to the international market, continuing to place pieces on celebrities and influencers in dynamic spaces, and roll out special collaborations. The next big step is to open a warehouse and store in Atlanta, as demand grows tremendously.
Since their grand opening, Dareales has hosted several community driven events. They recently hosted their 4th annual Turkey Drive giving out tons of food to families in need, and they are hosting a toy drive later this month where they will be giving toys to the boys and girls of Dorchester. They annually host back to school drives where they give out backpacks and school supplies. They also participate in mentorship programs and have spoken to many young BPS students across the city.
Bray has also recently joined the board of Directors for Greater Ashmont Main Street, which is a major step for him. He added “I looked at joining the Board as a great opportunity to deepen my work within the community, especially as it pertains to supporting our neighborhood’s small businesses as we look to sustain and thrive during these times. I benefited greatly from Ashmont Main Streets and I felt it was time to give back.”
Dareales is another one of many local small businesses with deep roots in Dorchester who represent exactly what makes our community a great place to Live, Shop & Work. We encourage you to #shopsmall #shoplocal #shopashmont
Check them out online https://www.dareales.com
More on Christopher Bray and fellow owners Tru Batty and Jerome Warren
We are ecstatic to highlight Chrispother Bray, who along with Jerome Warren and True Batty own Dareale a local clothing brand with deep roots to dorchester, located at 1658B Dorchester Avenue Boston Ma 02122.
Christopher grew up on Mount Ida Road in Dorchester, and would often spend time at his aunt’s house on Longfellow St., who was the matriarch of the family. To Christopher, his aunt’s house “was the fun house.” He spent the majority of his formative years in Fields Corner and visiting friends in Ashmont. At the time all he knew was Dorchester, so when his mom decided to move to Brockton, Christopher stayed with his aunt in Dorchester. With the exception of his college years, Christopher has spent his whole life in the Fields Corner and Ashmont neighborhoods.
It was here at his aunt’s house that Christopher’s love and passion for fashion blossomed. Christopher credits his older cousin for inspiring him to get into fashion. He was really into clothes and was always wearing high end pieces. As the younger cousin, Christopher found himself with all of his big cousin’s hand-me-downs, but it was all really dope stuff. We’re talking about brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica and Perry Ellis. Kids at school would always ask him where he got his clothes from. He even introduced Christopher to sneakers, and now many years later, Christopher has made his own sneaker which is part of Dareales’ latest collection.
This introduction into fashion motivated Chrisopher, he would regularly sketch hats, t-shirts and outfits. It wasn’t until he went to East Boston High school that his designs would come to life and Dareales would come to fruition. He designed his first shirt in high school. Christopher recalled that the shirt said Dareales on the front and said first generation on the back. The Shirt sold out immediately, this was a sign to Christopher that he had something special with Dareales.
After high school, Christopher would go on to attend Morris Brown College and AIU for fashion design and marketing – both in Atlanta. While in Atlanta, Christopher continued to develop new designs that played towards his strengths. He knew how to sew and create patterns, so he developed a creative and unique hoodie which had an all over skull print design that was one of a kind; no one else at the time was creating anything like it.
He had some success with this piece, and with hard work and networking, was able to get his piece worn by Janele Monet and Rap icon, Big Boi of the duo Outkast. Christopher attempted to keep the positive vibes going, but due to a bad shipment of shirts, was unable to progress further. In 2011 Christopher decided to move back to Boston. His son Christiaan was just born and he wanted his son to know his grandmother and be able to be surrounded by family. Although he ran into obstacles while in Atlanta, he never gave up. Christopher added, “I was going to look for the answers myself. I decided i was going to make things happen for myself”
So he decided to try again. He wanted to give it a real shot. He stayed consistent and gave it everything he had time wise and fiscally. He brought all of the lessons learned from his time in Atlanta to Dorchester. He decided he would not rely on the bigger manufacturers to produce his designs. He purchased his own screen printer and converted his aunt’s back porch into a screen printing studio.
He had a design that he was working on while in Atlanta, it was the word “real” where the “a” is replaced with a silhouette of the Massachusetts State bird (Black-Capped Chickadee). He decided to use that design and put it on t-shirts, and he started selling them out of his car. After having a lot of success selling t-shirts out of his car, Christopher and his business partners, Tru (cousin) and his life lone friend Jerome Warren, decided to create an online store that they built collectively. This was a big step for the brand. The trio created an online shop where people could purchase their latest designs and allowed them to shift their focus into other areas that they could explore to grow the brand further.
Christopher would branch out into pop-up shops, and it was at these pop-up shops that Christopher received overwhelming feedback from his customers that they enjoyed the in person shopping element even more than shopping online. Christopher discussed the idea of a retail space with his co-owners, and with their support, decided to go for it. His deep ties to his family, friends and community would lead Christopher to open his own clothing store right on Dorchester Ave. To this day, Jerome Warren is glad that they took the risk of opening a brick and mortar location. It has been a major success. People really enjoy visiting the shop that resembles an art gallery more than the typical clothing store.
When asked to reflect back on his journey and assess what he is most proud of, Christopher said “when i was in Atlanta, if I hit a roadblock, I would lose steam. But when I moved back to Dorchester it was a different story.” In Dorchester he had the full support of his friends, family and community, so when issues arose Christopher was empowered to take them on. He added, “besides my son, I’m most proud of being a “risk taker” with vision, who walked on faith, believed in myself, brought my dream to fruition, went beyond online and pop-up shop retail, and opened a flagship store in my neighborhood.”
He is especially thankful to his mother Cythina Bray. She has always been there for him and supportive of his vision. Christopher added, “she is so laid back, and always there for me. Having a safety net helps you walk on the tight rope because you know the net is there.” Christopher is also motivated by his son Christian, who is already showing signs of following in his footsteps. Christopher added “life is about planting seeds, and I want to be a seed for the community and my son.”
His son is already talking about having his own business, which is amazing when you consider that he is only 10 years old – much younger than Christopher was when he first started to think about having his own business. Christopher believes “it is incumbent upon me to lift as I climb.”