It’s no secret that FAMU’s football season is enormous, drawing large crowds of past and present students. With the popularity of football season, it’s also a great time for small businesses and vendors selling paraphernalia to shine.
Former FAMU student Chazriq Chazam Clark left his mark on the hill by leading a significant impact in football stands following the launch of his small business.
Clark’s fan company, Chazam Fans, sells hand- fans in an array of colors and customizations. On the official business Instagram page for the company it also says that Clark’ company is ,”…The First Black-Owned & HBCU-Licensed Custom Hand-Fan Company…”
Clark’s inventory currently features four themed collections: The HBCU Collection, the Chazaiassance Collection, the Coloring Book Collection and the Divine Collection.
Clark, who works at Capital One as an HR associate, had the idea to start the business from being unsure on what else he wanted to do after college.
“I started thinking about what I wanted to do post grad and Beyonce released a new album with the song ‘Heated’ on it, and I just knew I had to do this,” Clark said.
Clark spoke about the challenges of starting a business and some of the necessary steps he had to take to get the business running.
“It took me a while to get licensing as you know HBCUs take a long time to do a lot of stuff,” Clark said.
“The first step for me was finding a logo. The next two steps came from figuring out when i’m going to launch things and how exactly am I gonna market them on social media.”
Clark also mentioned the importance of figuring out how to market on multiple social media platforms, as a lot of people who are interested in the hand fans are on the platform Facebook.
Chazam fans have taken off since their original launch in September. Prominent figures such as Mariah Thee Scientist, who was a performer at FAMU’s homecoming concert, and the royal court at Clark Atlanta University, were all captured on video showing off their customized hand fans.
“I think it is breathtaking realizing those fans are mine. I go into the stands at a game and I’ll see how many fans there are and realize I made those fans. It feels like a dream come true,” Clark said.
On the official business instagram page for the company it says, “Shop With The First Black-Owned & HBCU-Licensed Custom Hand-Fan Company…CHAZAM FANS, LLC”
Athaiya Mack, a third-year broadcast journalism student at FAMU, said she’s never seen a business like this before.
“Chaz has always been extremely creative. I wasn’t surprised that he came up with such a unique idea because there truly isn’t anything like this,” she said.
As for what’s next with the Chazam fans, Clark said there probably won’t be other types of paraphernalia, but he plans to possibly expand the inventory of hand fans to PWIs and other HBCUs.