I’m excited to release this piece because it is truly one of the most inspirational and compelling stories we’ve shared to date on Stereo. This is a story that will allow you to continue to believe anything is possible, it will inspire you to try the thing you put off so often, and most importantly it is a story of letting your creative genius take control to fulfill your passion. With that said and done I’d like to introduce to you Jerrill Sankey the founder and creator ofCreative King, a one of a kind custom hat company based out of Baltimore, MD. To describe him in a few words he’s driven, a trailblazer, and a trendsetter.
Before even meeting Jerrill I could tell by looking at the hats he produced that he was a creative individual with a taste for fashion that was not only stylish but strategically thought out and put together. Now if you let him tell it he’ll tell you he just likes to put together cool shit but that’s not the 100% answer to the thinking that goes into his custom one of a kind hats ‘Made In the USA’. It almost feels weird to say that, especially knowing that much of our products are ‘Made In China’, but not these awesome hat’s made by the Creative King himself.
Now we all know someone that says, “Hey check out my clothing line”, just to find out it’s a poorly made t-shirt line pressed up whenever they get an opportunity to get them made. Quite frankly, we get tired of that spill and it seems like everyone and their grandma has a t-shirt line out right now. So it’s highly admirable that Jerrill decided to take a different route to stand out and make his work noteworthy.
That’s exactly what helped him catch my eye. While out shooting one of our Original’s featuring, Bond St. District, I noticed a ton of Creative King hats sitting in Paul Hutson’s studio. Right away I wanted to have one so I asked Paul, “Where did you get these hats from?” and he responds, “From my good friend Jerrill, he makes the best hats and he even goes out of his way to produce them based around the seasons. So if it’s winter he’ll make them with flannel or sweatpants materials and if it’s the summer time he’ll make them out of mesh or nylon.” The confirmation came to show that Creative King hats were dope when the ill Baltimore MC DDm made sure to wear one in the music video for Bond St. District’s single, “Matinee”.
I’d later find that what made the discovery of Paul and Jerrill’s relationship more special is they both inspired and pushed each other to keep at their crafts when they were coming into themselves. While Paul would be producing for hours, Jerrill would be at his sewing machine hacking away by experimenting with several fabrics and techniques. So as Creative King was being born so was Bond St. Districts new sound that was being produced by Paul Hutson. Shortly, after shooting with Bond St. District, we linked up with Jerrill and had several conversations about his journey. He shared his story of being a Janitor for 8 years before embarking on his passion to create and conquer the skill of producing products.
“I can’t believe I’ve done that shit for that long, working the same dead end job year after year, hearing people talk about collecting their pensions and 401k plans.”
Once reality set in and he decided to pick up a hat from a flea market, gut it, and learn to sew. He soon discovered that he needed to leave the dead-end job that was slowly killing him creatively. Doing just that gave him an entirely new wind and perspective on life. Soon after sewing his first hat from hand with thread and needle, his loving mother Vanessa Sankey supported his vision and purchased his first sewing machine to encourage him to keep going.
Shortly, after gaining more confidence in his sewing abilities, he took a few of his hats down the street from his house to Sixteen Tons owner Daniel Wylie and brokered a partnership to sell his hats in his shop. As all good stories, his began to become greater and he was introduced to Jeremiah Jones, the founder of Sew Lab, a manufacturing goods company in Baltimore. When he made his way to Sew Lab, that’s when everything started clicking on all four cylinders for him. He began producing and being more inspired than ever and has never looked back.
By far one of my favorite things about Jerrill’s mentality is the constant ongoing battle to make his next product his best creation yet and his willingness to push the boundary with each design. On some of his hats you’ll find zipper pockets on the side, bungee cord straps to resize the hat to your liking, or a funky all purpose bill that can be flexed any way you choose to wear your hat to match your style. He’s living proof that if you don’t stop believing in your passions and you act on what you truly believe your called to do, that the universe itself will begin to shape in your favor. After the creation of Creative King he now sells his hats in 3 locations including Sixteen Tons, Bottle of Bread, The Last Place On Earth.
Executive Producers | Stereo Champions
Senior Producers | Ashely Mumford, Rodney Curl
Art Director | John Curl
Photographer | Rodney Curl
Special Appearance | Daniel Wylie, Jeremiah Jones
Sounds | Paul Hutson Exclusives
Partners | Sixteen Tons, Sew Lab, Paul Hutson
© 2015, Stereo Champions. All Rights Reserved.