STUDENTS | July 11, 2018
Young entrepreneur Devonta Boston, 21, designs and sells hoodies, windbreakers, and T-Shirts under his TGi brand. The growing small business is celebrating one year this month and will host a grand opening event July 21 from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. at the Englewood Boombox, 822 W. 63rd St. There will be music, food, an open mic, live art and more. Proceeds will go to help better the community, he said.
TGi didn’t start as a small business though, it was initially a high school group he and his friend Omphile Franklin formed at Gage Park HS their junior year. They were active in volunteer work and community service. The two designed matching hoodies just for them, he explained, to get students interested in joining the group.
TGi, which stands for “tranquility, gratitude and innovation,” began as a movement, Boston said.
“Originally it was just a popular group in high school and once we got close to graduation, one of our teachers asked us how we planned to continue to do the work after graduation,” Boston said, adding that he wanted to keep giving back.
TGi shifted from a high school group to an organization. Boston said he is on a mission to bring teens and young adults across the Chicago area together.
“We wanted to combat the violence,” he said. “We wanted to give youth a place to come together with other youth and just vibe. I feel like besides school there is no real space for youth to get together, especially from other communities, unless you play a sport.”
TGi is a “youth movement focused on youth engagement, development and community service.”
Proceeds from sales of their products go toward helping their neighborhood. They make and distribute sandwiches and water bottles to the community. Last December they passed out Christmas cards. They have also bought items to help clean up the community.
Boston said that ultimate goal for his organization is to have their own space with a music and art studio.
“I really want us to be the cornerstone for youth cultivation, leadership, just youth everything,” he said, adding that right now he’s organizing a youth talent for the fall.
“I just want to create that space for them to be acknowledged and give them something to work toward,” he said.
Check out TGi’s clothing July 16-31 at the Englewood Boombox, 833 W. 63rd St. Visit the website at www.tgimovement.com.