Today we’d like to introduce you to Deja Jones.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
So I’ve been doing graphic design for about two years now. The funny thing is, It wasn’t intended to be an actual “money maker.” I begin to learn graphic design for my clothing brand, Deja Tenay. Now fashion design has always been something I wanted to do my entire life, from the minute I learned I could draw! I would always get in trouble in elementary school because I was always drawing outfits, and the people around me would be so intrigued that they wouldn’t even listen to the lesson. Fast forward to high school. I really started to take it seriously and develop the name “Deja Tenay” for my clothing brand. In my senior year of high school, I decided that I would apply to one school… SCAD for Fashion Design. So fall semester, I attended SCAD, but I wasn’t there for long. I was only able to stay for one quarter due to financial aid and scholarships not being able to cover costs. After leaving SCAD, I was a little discourage and disappointed. I felt that since I wasn’t able to stay at SCAD, I wouldn’t do what I love. About a year passes, and I decided to teach myself how to sew and bring my sketches to life. While working a full time job.
In 2017, around the end of the year, I launched my first collection, Vacay Vibes, via “Raw Artist.” It was such an awesome experience. I learned a lot and made some great connections! Also, during this time, I was starting to learn a little bit of graphic design. I was able to create my textile design for the collection. In 2018, I showcased my collection in a few other local fashion shows as well, making even more connections. 2018 was also the year I started creating graphics for other people. One of my close friends knew that I had created my textile for my previous collection, and she wanted me to create a logo for her makeup business. Now, I had no clue what or how to even create a logo, BUT. she believed in me, and I did just that. I created her logo and business cards! Once her project was complete, she referred someone else to me and I created their logo and business cards! Then there was like this trickle effect. I started getting more and more requests! I was really in awe. I wasn’t even a graphic designer. I had no skill or didn’t even take it seriously as a business. By the end of 2018, I decided that I was going to become a freelance graphic designer. With the help of YouTube, I learned so much and gained so much knowledge as a designer and businesswoman. In 2019, I launched my second collection, 96th St. With this collection. I did something a little different. I created an event called “The Fashion Lounge Orlando.” TFL was created to have like-minded creators be able to showcase their work and make connections. I really wanted the vibe to be welcoming, creative, and chill, and it exceeded my expectations. Now in 2020, I’ve gained over 200 clients for my graphic designing business, creating new clothing collections, a Part-time college student, and I am a full-time entrepreneur!
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not been as smooth as I would’ve hoped. Honestly, the only challenge I really faced is the school for financial reasons. I couldn’t stay in college once leaving SCAD, Savannah College of Art and Design. I went to Seminole State about a year later. I only stayed for one semester because financial aid couldn’t fully cover it.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a Fashion Designer and Graphic Designer. I’m most proud of my last collection, 96th St., I dropped. Staying true to myself with wanting to be a streetwear designer. I push myself and thought outside of the box with this collection. I’m also proud of graphic design. The fact that I’ve come so far with my designing and gaining so many clients. What sets me apart is my customer service. I strive to help the client and guide them as much as possible. I know how it is, with my experience of working in retail since 16, I try to be as friendly as possible.
What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
I’ve learned some lessons: Have faith – Set boundaries with your clients – Stay true to yourself – Always strive to learn more – Be teachable, have an open mind.
- Logo $65/$95
- Flyer Design $35
- Business Card $40
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- Website: Dtgraphx.com
- Instagram: @dtgraphx, @designedbydeja, @thefashionloungeorl
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheDTGraphx, https://www.facebook.com/DesignedbyDeja, https://www.facebook.com/thefashionloungeorl
Mark Sky (@skysolo) Greg Rice