“Crime pays”. It pays police officers, judges, coroners, lawyers, probation officers, but it doesn’t pay us. This is just one of the slogans of “Trap House Chicago” a streetwear brand in Chicago that does more than just create clothing, “A boutique with a meaning,” according to Mashaun Hendricks, the founder and CEO of Trap House Chicago.

Mashaun Hendricks is the face behind Trap House, a 32 year old Chicago native that grew up in Markham, a south suburb of the city. He speaks on how he got involved in community work through a non profit organization called Chicago Area Project (CAP) where he did work within the youth department.

He did volunteer work, facilitating events, gaining a lot professional development during his six years there and eventually creating a full time job for himself. Hendricks credits CAP for where he developed his skills in art design, he would create flyers and design T-shirts amongst other things to appeal to his peers and those younger than him.

This hard work allowed Hendricks to receive a grant from CAP for youth led community projects. Hendricks attended Columbia College downtown, where he created Trap House, but decided to leave when he found out exactly what he wanted to do, stating, “Not that I stopped learning at that point, I was grateful that I had people around me, who had wisdom and were willing to share as well as challenge me to apply what they were sharing.”

When asked about what makes his brand different than any other streetwear clothing brand, Hendricks stated that Trap House is solution based clothing, going beneath the surface and showing the authentic value and the humanity of the streets.

“We all Eat” is another slogan Trap House uses, which means that the entire community is involved, we’re all in this together. “That’s my hole motto, it’s my goal to employ and I won’t wait until I make a certain amount of money to employ, I’m employing now. It’s a part of our structure,” Hendricks says in response to the importance of community.

Trap House is located on the south side of Chicago in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the 80th block of Ashland. Trap House serves as a safe place for people of the community, hosts open mics every third Friday of the month and has many events the community can get involved with.

The mission of Trap House is to transform the city of Chicago by identifying and addressing the root causes of crime, violence, and incarceration.

Visit their website today.