Starting Up a New Business

Starting Up a New Business

Josh Toth and Stan Darke have lived in Northern Virginia for many years. They opened up a new clothing store called Liberte Clothing in Burke just recently.

Number of years in the community. Josh: I've been in the Springfield/Lorton area for over 18 years. Stan and I started the ground work for Liberte Clothing in May of 2005.

Stan: I grew up in Lorton, and have lived in Centreville, Arlington and now Falls Church

Family. Josh: I'm a single 25-year-old man. I like to tell people that my girlfriend right now is my company because it consumes most of my time right now.

Stan: Single, with my boy Kito, a year old Rhodesian Ridgeback pup.

Education. Josh: I graduated from Radford University with my bachelor's degree in media studies. I also did my graduate work at the University of Southern California with my master's degree being in Journalism.

Stan: I studied art at University of South Florida and received a degree in art education from VCU in 1995.

Current job/primary occupation. Josh: I am president/CEO of Liberte Clothing.

Stan: Owner of Darke Graphics, a custom screenprinting/embroidery company at the same location in Burke, and vice president of Liberte Clothing.

Achievements. Josh: I worked for WWAY News Channel 3 in Wilmington, N.C. as a field reporter for the sports department. I helped revive the New River Valley News while I was a student at Radford University. I also started two companies; Liberte Clothing "Free to Speak, Free to Wear" and Dfg Productions (Destined For Greatness).

Stan: I taught middle school art for seven years and left to pursue my own T-shirt business, Darke Graphics. I built the business alone and now do shirts for schools all over the northern region of Virginia, churches, and small businesses. I also have a 1950s mid-century modern style house that I am renovating by myself, trying to bring back the original flair.

Activities/interests/hobbies. Josh: My activities include being a designer for Liberte Clothing, helping Hayfield Secondary win another district title in basketball and being with my family and friends.

Stan: My interests include painting, playing guitar and piano, traveling and renovating my house.

Favorite local restaurant or place in the community. Josh: When I'm out, you can either catch my at Gold's Gym in Lorton or at Mike's American Grill having dinner with friends.

Stan: I like to frequent restaurants in Arlington and places with live music, like Iota.

What are your community concerns: Josh: I don't really have that many concerns, I just want kids to be safe when they are on the road because when you drive, you drive for your family and friends.

Stan: My concerns are traffic and illegal immigration ... is it OK to say that?

What brought you here? Josh: Well I was raised here. I've called this home for a very long time. I mean, I've been all over the country from Los Angeles to Wilmington and there is nothing like being at home in Northern Virginia. I'm just happy that Liberte Clothing opened it's first location in Burke.

Stan: I grew up here, returned after college because there is so much going on for work.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you "grew up?" Josh: I always wanted to be on television when I was younger and I was able to achieve that. At some point, I will almost certainly be back in front of the screen.

Stan: I wanted to be a professional baseball player for the Yankees. I kind of gave that up at the end of high school. Then I wanted to be in artist in some manner.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Josh: In five years, hopefully Liberte will be doing very well and I will be able to just sit at my desk and make business calls to whomever wants to get involved with the company.

Stan: Same place, just older.