The owner, Darel Dawson, is originally from Oakland, California but has made Washington, D.C. his home. The concept of Grindstone Universal began on a screen printing machine in the den of his apartment where he printed his designs on t-shirts and passed them out at the local radio stations and sold them around his neighborhood. Eventually, celebrities such as Jay-Z, Wyclef, and Kid Capri were seen on television wearing these shirts and the vision became reality. Shortly thereafter, stores nationwide began to stock Grindstone and the customers responded. The “in your face” guerrilla marketing is now as strong as ever, and has expanded the platform to presenting product in the gifting suites of the Billboard Music Awards, Sundance Film Festival, The Oscars, and the BET awards.