Rebranding Self

Rebranding Self.The GROW Academy

Whether created by yourself, or forced upon you by others, the personal brands we carry and put out into the world tend to say a lot about us before we say anything at all. Given the chance to engage with artistic mentors toward actively creating the personal image they want to project in the next chapter of life, students at The GROW Academy went big and they went deep on a journey of self-discovery and creation.

The REBRANDING SELF project used printmaking, hip-hop and fashion design to guide participants through the creation of their own unique brand that reflects their inner brilliance. This project required great attention to detail and attunement to the student’s ideas so that each brand came together with coherence and consistency. 

Personal branding project created by teens living at Wisconsin's GROW Academy near Madison, WI

Bubbler mentors Rob Franklin, Maria Schirmer Devitt, Tyler Brunsell, ShaH Evans, Nia Jackson and Carlos Gacharna all played different roles as we worked with GROW Academy staff to co-build and co-facilitate a curriculum that expects the unexpected, is ready to shift gears as dictated by student goals, and builds up the sense of community and personal well-being within the space.

@ Madison College

After a week of building out their individual brands with the mentors, our partners at Madison College were eager to share their resources and expertise while hosting our screen printing sessions in the Center for Printing Arts

  • Burning silk screens at Madison College
  • Rinsing silk screens at Madison College
  • Prepping a silk screen at Madison College
  • Screen Printing at Madison College
  • Screen printing @ Madison College
  • Screen printing @ Madison College
  • Screen Printing at Madison College
  • Sign hanging in Madison College for Center of Printing Arts
w/ Carlos Gacharna

The timing for this project was perfect because Carlos Gacharna just happened to be back in town to accept the Forward Award from UW-Madison, and he was able to join us for a few days to give everyone a lesson on hydro-dipping that we can continue to utilize in future projects.

WATCH: the crew hydro-dipping sandals and skateboard decks.
  • Picture of student preparing a skateboard deck before hydro-dipping w/Carlos Gacharna
  • Student spraying spray various colors of paint on top of water to dunk their sandals in a "hydro-dip"
  • Hydro-dipping sandals
  • Hydro-dipping a skateboard deck
  • Hydro-dipping skateboard decks
  • Picture of many hydro-dipped sandals in many unique color and pattern variations


A GROW Academy student designed the logo for their auto shop - "Baby Draco: Auto Detailing and Repair"
With a plan to bring their brand into physical reality, this student wants to create his own autoshop. The imagery for the brand is based on showcasing his hometown with the Madison skyline prominently displayed. Having a brand was a first step to bringing this dream to life.
Student posing with their new branded sweatshirt and hydro-dipped slides
WATCH: commercial for Baby Draco Auto Repair and Detailing




GROW Academy student created the personal brand "Mud Money"

This brand is about making money from the ground up and not being afraid to get dirty - doing it the hard way and never taking nothing easy. The student designer chose the color gold to show the richness of his brand. 

Student posing with their new "Mud Money" personal branded sweatshirt and slides

WATCH: commercial for Mud Money




Logo for student designed "Leather Belt" personal brand

This brand is about having confidence to be the best. The slogan, Belt 2 Ass is a reference to what you say when you beat someone on the basketball court; the illustrations are cheeky and playful, adding levity to the brand’s powerful black and purple color scheme. 

Student posing with their "Leather Belt" branded sweatshirt and slides

WATCH: commercial for Leather Belt




RESPECT personal brand created by student

Eager to retell and reframe the story of how people see him, this student wants people to know that he is respectful and created a brand for what exactly this mean to him. The brand’s slogan, “look up, not down” is a message to the wearer to keep focused on what is in front of him - the image is a person and their reflection - signaling that your own view of who you are is what is most important. The student wanted to have a gradient in the image, and explored dying with chemical and natural indigo dye to create an entire outfit for him and his girlfriend. 

  • Student modeling a hoodie with logo for "RESPECt" personal brand
  • RESPECT personal brand slogan, "Look Up Not Down"
  • RESPECT dyed blue jeans




BTR personal brand created by student

Focused on a simple and bold color scheme  - black and white - the student wanted the design to stand out and provide contrast. 

  • BTR personal brand printed on hoodie
  • BTR personal brand printed on hoodie



Made possible by our generous sponsors:

2023 Making Justice sponsors: Epic, Scooter Software, Tim & Sharon Thousand, Public Health Madison Dane County, Cap Times Kid Fund, Madison Public Library Foundation