By Dylan Deprey
Jay Denim was living his dream in the fashion industry. Between juggling a career at several local clothing stores and jetting off to fashion shows across the country, he ultimately refined his skills in all aspects of the craft. From the types of fabrics, importing the goods, designing and sewing, he became fully immersed in the fashion world.
While he finally had his footing in the industry, the economy took a turn for the worst. The stores slowly started to close, and he was working solo.
One thing he noticed during the transition period was that custom t-shirts were keeping him afloat. Family reunions, memorials, concerts, basically anything that required a t-shirt, he was printing it. The only thing that held him back was a professional graphic designer that could bring his brand to the next level.
“I knew if I was going to sell t-shirts, I was going to need a design. So, when I started to go around to all these people I knew that could help me, they all said it was free of charge,” he said. “Then it never ended up getting finished.”
While he was left hanging from his associates, he tried some of the corporate brands, but they didn’t pack that “Jay Denim” swag he was looking for.
So, he took it into his own hands. For two years, he took his passion for fashion design and put it towards graphic design. He went from learning to turn on a design program, to being able to convert a pencil sketch into an eye-popping logo in less than 2 days.
“It all started because I couldn’t get anybody to do it for me,” he said. “Whenever I’m doing anything for anybody, I’m usually turning around within 48 to 24 hours, and its quality work.”
Razor Graphics, Denim’s brand, specializes in setting up small businesses on the right foot. From custom logos, business cards, flyers, banners and clothing, he has stepped into a new role in his career.
“It was like once I learned this, people could come to me to get work done, and they didn’t ever have to go through what I went through,” he said.
He upped his social media presence after friends, family and clients began posting his work online. It sparked the idea for a referral incentive program.
“Everybody needs money, no matter how big or small, but I also wanted to make sure it was about the quality of the referral,” he said.
While Jay Denim crafts logos for local businesses and entrepreneurs, he also aims to extend his hand to those looking to get into fashion or start their own brand.
He created the “Let’s Talking Clothing Business” group on Facebook to engage, educate and network with those looking to break into fashion.
“I’m trying to connect people starting their own brands, but it’s also there for people to talk fashion in general. They can shoot out questions for me or anybody else to answer,” Denim said. “You really can’t pay me for what I know, but if we can get some conversation, I can help them accomplish what they want to do.”
He said it was also about breaking the cycle. He wanted to extend a helpful hand to those looking to live their dreams, something that wasn’t there when he began his career.
“I’m here to break the cycle for two reasons. One, is that somebody will help you if you want to be helped. Secondly, it gives people the ability to measure if it’s too much work for them or not because if you don’t know what goes into it, you don’t know how to approach it,” Denim said.
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