Photo courtesy of Desmond Brown
When inspired by struggling to gain confidence in his major, Interdisciplinary Studies, senior Desmond Brown created and built up his own business called 1so Brand.
Brown has worked hard to build up his own business, however, starting out wasn’t all that easy.
“I was a mixture of scared, nervous and excited. I didn’t really know where I was headed or how I would get things going. I just stepped out on my faith,” he said. “I can honestly say 1so has changed my life in so many ways and has given me a sense of hope that I never really experienced beforehand. I never get comfortable and that pushes me to make progress and reach new heights.”
He gave some insight into the challenges he faced at the beginning.
“I believe my biggest challenge was learning the business. Once I started with the first two shirts, the sales came in pretty quickly. I had to figure out the numbers, my turn around time, my target audience, product variety, and many more things that influenced the direction of my brand. With my father being an entrepreneur, I had an idea of what it took to make things happen,” Brown said. “However, once you get in the field on your own it’s a completely different story. It takes a lot of discipline and hard work to see results at the end of the day.”
He still faces challenges today and has set goals to overcome them.
“I think my biggest challenge would be my marketing advertising. My brand is very well known in South Carolina simply from me being a student at the university and having family across the state. It allowed me to spread the word and get my products to those who were interested in purchasing different pieces,” he said.
“My long-term goal is to become known nationally and, after that, internationally. I’m always looking for ways to reach people outside of my living area and those who could potentially give my brand and business a push. It’s all about networking and getting in touch with the right people. You have to exhaust your resources as much as possible. This is something I’m getting better with.”
Brown is proud of what he has been able to do through this business and wants to encourage others to follow their dreams as well.
“I am most proud of my ability to touch lives through my brand. The motto is encouraging the elevation of individual purpose and success. My goal is to motivate and inspire those who are working within their craft and career to keep going and breaking barriers placed upon them. I genuinely feel like our mentality can be our worst enemy at times where we get discouraged and want to give up. There’s always beauty in the struggle and the hard work that we put in day in and day out will reward us when the time is right,” Brown said.
He has advice for others with similar goals.
“Don’t hesitate. Don’t overthink. Don’t doubt yourself, go for it. If you’re truly passionate about something and you believe in yourself and the meaning behind it, take the risk. You never know what is on the other side of a leap of faith,” Brown said. “Stay consistent and make sure you network and have the right people around you while doing so. The process is far from easy, but it will all be worth it in the end.”
Assistant Professor of Communication, Corrine Dalelio, had a chance to talk with Brown a bit over the summer about his brand.
“I think it’s great what he’s done,” she said. “It’s amazing that someone his age has started his own business. I was impressed by how driven and positive he is at his age. I hope he does well with it. It seems like he has the right attitude towards his profession and life. I’d like to see where he goes.”
Brown has big plans for the future. He is currently working towards his bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Entrepreneurship and Psychology. After that, he plans to earn his master’s degree in Psychology and Social work. While doing that, he still wants to expand 1so and continue to network and create opportunities.
“My long-term goal is to have my own store as well as a chain of small businesses that I can invest into. Hopefully, my brand will continue to touch those in pursuit of their dreams as they move forward along their journey. I know this is something that could potentially change not only my life but the people around me lives forever,” he said. “I wish to gain your support as you can follow us on Instagram at @1sobrand and shop online at 1sobrand.com. This journey has been a true testimony of faith and hard work, there’s no doubt that you can do the same.”