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Memphis Made a Hustler out of Me: Fresh Talks Finding His Way in Fashion

We’ve all heard phrases like “Fake it til you make it” or “If you can believe it, you can achieve it.” Those are really just manifestation methods to keep you motivated enough to make your dreams come true. Even before native Memphian, and Henry-Mask Maker, Fresh “made it big,” his Instagram bio read “Celebrity Tailor,” because he believed he was one—and now, he is.

“I was super broke, but I knew I wanted to start a brand. At the time, I went by Rich, and every now and then, someone would call me Richey Fresh. I’d think of “rich” and “fresh” as statements, like ‘rich got fresh,’ and ‘fresh got rich.’ I’ve been fresh my whole life, and I thought that having the nickname Rich would manifest that for me—but it didn’t happen. I was still broke. So I decided that I would be Fresh who got rich.”

Photos: Fresh and Terrance J, Entertainment Reporter and former Host of 106 & Park  (Shot by Jennifer Johnson)

Fresh, otherwise known as Patrick Henry, has been playing the part since the very start. He discovered his passion for fashion when he was 13, and he knew it was a whole new world—one that called for a new version of himself.

“A cheerleader convinced me that if I dressed better, then girls would like me—and I was like ‘Bet,'” Fresh said. “When I moved to Memphis in high school, it gave me a chance to recreate myself. That was my place of reinvention. I decided who I wanted to be.”

Little did he know that this new found sense of self would help him bring in the babes, and also build a business. He decided to forgo college and forged his own path which started in Memphis, led him to New York, brought him back home, and has now landed him in Los Angeles.

 “I really became a tailor because that was the closest thing to fashion in the environment that I was in,” Fresh said. “Memphis is a great practice field. It may not be the best field for the big game, but it’s a great field to practice on. You’ll develop a lot of skills, senses, some different insights and just aggressive abilities that you have to have to survive in the world of entrepreneurship. Memphis was definitely where I launched my entrepreneurial endeavors. When I was there, I was always doing my own thing. I was notorious for not working a job. I was always hustling.”

I decided that I would be Fresh who got rich.
Fresh photographed by California-based photographer James Law

In 2010, Fresh drove to the West Coast with his four-year-old daughter in his backseat and $500 in his pockets. He landed in San Diego with $200, and restarted his alterations business. He had never been to the city. He didn’t know anybody, and he didn’t have a job waiting on him. He ended up “getting some little accounts, just bullsh*ttin,” as Fresh would say, and eventually moved to L.A. where he was in for the ride of his life.

“L.A. has been a roller coaster, an absolute roller coaster. I was out of my mind for a long time. I was depressed. I was on drugs. I had a lot of different spiritual issues that took me down—took me down real bad. They landed me a spot in “homelessville,” and while I was living in the shelter, I had a dream. I had this dream about Richfresh. I had a dream about this hot shot designer—that he was expensive, and everybody loved him. He lived this baller lifestyle, and people always wanted to hear about his story. I woke up from the dream, and felt different. I didn’t feel homeless when I woke up. I felt like I was living through the homeless chapter of my bigger success story, and that was my wake up call to get it together. Life told me ‘you’re not too cute to be f’d up out here’, you know?”

It didn’t take him very long to turn things around. He left the homeless shelter with $300 and turned that into $1M within a year, but how did he do it? He trusted his instincts, believed in his talent, and marketed the hell out of himself online.

Photos: Lena Waithe, John Legend, and The Weeknd wearing Richfresh

“Like I’d just be chillin, and the spirit would tell me, ‘Yo, you should make a pair of pants, and post them on the ‘gram,’ Fresh said. “I’d find whatever leftover fabric I could laying around, spend whatever it cost to produce the pants—again, I ain’t got no money. But, I’d make them, take a nice pic, toss ’em up, and, next thing you know, someone would reach out and be like, ‘Yo, those pants was crazy.’ They might not have wanted exactly what I made, but I created something that caught their eye. God gave me direction to do just things to catch people’s eyes—to show them what I was capable of.”

Fresh challenged himself to keep doing more, and set his sights high. He wanted big money, so he went after folks who had big bennies. No pun intended, but it paid off, and not just with clothes. He’s created bags, backpacks and, in response to the pandemic,  launched Henry Masks with his brother Chase Morgan in April 2020.

Fresh with his brother, and Henry Mask Co-Founder, Chase Morgan

“My whole story is about manifestation,” Fresh said. “You’ve got to be vulnerable enough to tell the universe what you want, and that’s tough. A lot of the time, we don’t want to because we’re afraid of that fact that we might get it, and what that means. We have to change if we get the things that we ask for. We have to give the universe something in return.”

His transaction with the Gods has been costly, but lucrative thanks to his hustle-hard mentality which he attributes to Memphis.

“Memphis taught me to go out and get it,” Fresh said. “These L.A. folks, they don’t know how to hustle. Memphis taught me how to be broke, and still be happy—but it also taught me how to not get so stuck being broke that I can’t find a way out. There’s always a way out, because we’re taught that there’s always a hustle. The coolest thing about becoming an entrepreneur is that it’s possible.”

Follow Fresh’s fashion journey on Instagram.

Make Henry Masks purchases here.

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