August 25, 2022 Jaylen Kennedy, Senior Manager, Programmatic AND Fashion Designer
In November 2020, I was sitting at home during the height of the pandemic cleaning out my closet to give myself a fresh start… I thought about all the money I’ve spent on clothing made by other people and how that money went towards supporting other people’s dreams. I thought to myself how crazy it was that some people are able to conceptualize something in their head, put it on paper, and eventually make a living off that idea? I’m a creative guy, and pretty fashionable, so I decided to make a few things for myself instead of constantly buying the same LA Dodgers hat over and over… After locking myself in my bedroom for 6 hours trying to come up with the perfect logo, and pasting that logo onto a bunch of different templates on Photoshop, it occurred to me that my ideas were actually pretty good, and I might be able to get people to wear some of the hats and hoodies I’d designed.
I released my first collection in March of 2021, with some of my best friends serving as my unpaid models. I sold 175 hats in 6 weeks. A year and a half later, I have sold-out 3 collections. Starting with something near and dear to my heart allowed me to turn what once was a passion and hobby into a real business. My background in marketing continues to pay off as I learn how to turn my ideas into things other people love.
Q: How does each role affect the other? What is similar?
A: My role here at Quigley is very intertwined with my business in a learning capacity. I am able to see how certain strategies and approaches work for our clients, and I am able to take those lessons and test them out on my own business. Even though my budgets are nowhere near what our clients are working with, I am able to learn the thought process behind marketing strategies and ideas, and I can take certain aspects and apply them to what I do when I close my laptop for the night. I am truly grateful that I can work with/under so many intelligent people that have so much experience when it comes to ad-tech and marketing (and occasionally “borrow” a few of their ideas and strategies).
Q: What’s inspiring you today in your work and personal projects?
A: I would say the two basics are:
1. A basic human need for connection and a sense of belonging AND
2. A passion for expressing yourself through fashion
I have always wanted to find my “niche” in this world, and I felt like it took me so long to figure out what I was called to do, outside of work and pay bills. I think it is very easy to get caught up in the redundancy of everyday life; that we as individuals forget to pursue what actually makes us happy. I have a huge passion for bringing people together, and I think that I have finally found a way to do that in a way that truly makes sense to me, which is through my clothing and my art. The feeling I get when I see somebody wearing something that I designed is truly unexplainable, and it is a feeling that I am starting to chase.
With that, I love seeing the way my friends, family, and customers are able to express themselves with the items that I design. It is easy for me to get dressed in my clothing, as I pick out outfits in my brain, as I am literally in the design process. And it amazes me every time that I see somebody put my hats or sweatsuits on in a way that never crossed my mind. It is a beautiful thing to see people express who they are with something you created.
Q: Where can we check out your personal work?
A: The primary spot where I’m most active is on Instagram (@gldnbrwn.co), which is where you can find all of the updates for upcoming launches, community engagement, interact with our influencer roster, and just keep an overall gauge on all things Gld’n Brwn. We have a launch coming up in fall of this year, so there will be a lot of movement and activity on our social page as the release date approaches.
You can also find and purchase items from my website: https://gldnbrwncollections.com/
Now, I aim to be a fully self-sufficient designer and e-commerce vendor within the next five-year period, and I’m working every day to accomplish this goal that started off as a random thought in my bedroom.