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Jax Daily Record Friday, Aug. 16, 201905:10 AM EST

8103 Clothing finds a home in Springfield

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Owner Mark Braddock has a clothing deal with the Jumbo Shrimp, and is in talks with the Jaguars for the same.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

On 8103 Clothing’s opening day July 27 in Springfield, owner Mark Braddock planned to do live screen-printing as guests shopped the store. 

Within the first 5 minutes of opening, Braddock said people were packed “shoulder to shoulder.” His screen-printing plan quickly changed to accommodate the “nonstop” line building up at the cash register.

In 16 years of running 8103 Clothing, Braddock has moved his company into three different storefronts. His grand opening at 1715 N. Main St. was what he called the “best one ever.”

“I saw a lot of new faces, of course, a lot of old faces,” Braddock said. “And our diehards that have been wearing the brand for north of 10 years that know the story, that know the meaning, that have been following what has happened in my personal life as well.”

8103 Clothing is at 1715 N. Main St. in Springfield.

Braddock, 35, runs the company on his own, from printing the shirts to operating the storefront. 

8103 Clothing is a “lifestyle brand with Duval County roots that’s helping others establish a local footing in the marketplace.” Inspiration for the designs come from Jacksonville and from Braddock’s personal life. 

The company’s name, 8103, also is personal for Braddock: It was created in memory of his older brother, who was born in 1981 and died of a drug overdose in 2003.

Braddock said he’s inspired to continue growing the company in his brother’s honor “keeping the memory alive, the bloodline.”

In the past few years, Braddock said the company took off, starting last year with a deal with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. At the time, Braddock was living in Northern California, where he moved for a fresh start after the death of his parents in 2015 and 2016. 

8103 Clothing is a “lifestyle brand with Duval County roots that’s helping others establish a local footing in the marketplace.”

“Well how am I going to successfully collaborate with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp while living in Northern California? So, I basically made the plan before the collaboration and started to move back here,” Braddock said. “That’s where that ball just really started rolling.”

Braddock said he’s in talks with the Jacksonville Jaguars to make clothing for them, too. 

Along with Springfield’s energy, Braddock said the neighborhood’s proximity to the sports complex made it the perfect spot to establish his company after operating without a lease for the past eight months. 

As part of his grand opening, Braddock made donations to the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council and became a member of the group’s Springfield Area Merchants & Business Association. 

 He sees it as a neighborhood with potential.

“There is a lot going on in this area between all of the local businesses working together and the synergy that’s on the block as far as the whole community movement,” Braddock said.

“I want to be a part of the revitalization and preservation because I know it’s coming. I feel it’s only a matter of time.”

His storefront is next door to The Block Skate Supply, which eventually will have a doorway into 8103’s space. Braddock also has several pairs of shoes from The Block on display in his store, which customers can take next door to buy. 

The company’s name, 8103, also is personal for Braddock: It was created in memory of his older brother, who was born in 1981 and died of a drug overdose in 2003.

He plans to use his storefront to hold community events. Throughout the Jaguars preseason, he’s hosting watch parties at 8103 Clothing with a projector, food trucks, free beer and live T-shirt printing.

The result is “really bringing more life to the area with the unique connections I have, through the local brands here in the community,” he said. 

That’s all part of the synergy he sees in Springfield, and it also plays into his company’s mission statement: “Community over competition,” and “locals helping locals.”

In the time Braddock spent without a lease and permanent storefront, he hosted pop-up shops in Jacksonville Beach along with other local businesses that are similar to his, and may not have the means for their own retail spaces. Braddock held several 904 Pop Ups this year in Jacksonville Beach, with the next planned Sept. 22. More than 80 local businesses signed on to participate. 

“I’m trying to use the brand for more than just for myself,” Braddock said. “It’s so much bigger than that. And if I can help other companies get a taste of being able to live their dream as well, it’s an awesome feeling.”

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