"Who's Hot?" Interview
By: Omar Cook
This week's "Who's Hot?" Entrepreneur of the Week is Chris Hudson, founder of Life's Journey Clothing! Hudson is a native of Lexington, Kentucky and now resides in Atlanta. He graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in 2004 and attended a private college in Atlanta where he received his business management degree. Having been brought up in church, he was always inspired and encouraged by his parents Lee and Vickie to do great things to lead others to Christ as well as positively impact his community and eventually the world. After the birth of his son Jaden in 2008, he was motivated to start a t-shirt line which has grown beyond the imaginable.
Hudson describes “Life’s Journey” as an inspirational clothing brand. Chris began his journey by selling t-shirts out of his trunk to friends and family members. The brand has since developed and evolved throughout the years with much more to offer on the horizon. Chris now has his own store front back at home in Kentucky. Life’s Journey is more than a clothing brand, it offers inspiration to lead a positive lifestyle. The brand is focused on developing individuals from the inside, out. Hudson wants this brand to focus on positive messages that will inspire you to pursue your purpose. Life’s Journey wants to inspire you to believe in yourself, pursue your gifts, and inspire your generation. “We are not simply selling you clothing, we’re giving you inspiration.” Chris' mission in life is to leave an impact and help others fulfill their purpose in life. He has mentored many young children and peers alike. He believes that if you put God first, ANYTHING is possible and EVERYTHING will fall into place. The vision of Life's Journey is to encourage individuals through the art of creative design. Believe. Pursue. Inspire.
We talked with Chris Hudson in an exclusive interview, check it out below!
QUESTION: What sparked you to start your business? How did the idea come about?
Chris: What sparked me was that I always loved fashion & I had a heart to help people. So I remember praying asking GOD to revel my purpose on earth. So after a few weeks of praying, late one night the name hit me “LIFE’S JOURNEY”. Soon after, I made my first t shirt design an eagle and with a huge inspirational quote on the back.
QUESTION: What advice would you give to young people looking to start their own business?
Chris: I would say first take time to get to know what your purpose is on earth. A lot of people jump from business to business because they don’t have a true understanding of what they really want to do. Have a vision for why you’re doing what you want to do. Research & study the market and find ways to disrupt it. Relationships first, business second. Lastly, develop perseverance and patience because their is no such thing as overnight success.
QUESTION: What are some of the necessary skills that you've seen are needed to run a successful business?
Chris: Leadership, Networking, problem/solution solving, Communication & Negotiation and most importantly develop a backbone.
QUESTION: What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Chris: In life it’s good to fail because that’s how you truly learn. I can’t really pin point one failure that really sticks out to me. One of my issues early on was ordering a ton of inventory and not really having a true game plan on how I planned on marketing the items. I would get stuck with a ton of items. I found a cut & sew manufacturer that wanted me to do 100 per piece of the same design and same color. That hurt me because I had a limited audience that I was selling to. It’s like once one person wears it the other person doesn’t want any parts lol. Secondly, I would say when I opened my first flagship store, I didn’t have the proper security nor insurance. It was broken into twice and I almost lost everything in the process.
QUESTION: How do you define success and what motivates you?
Chris: Everyone’s definition of success is different; we all aspire different things in life. For me, it is to be able to create legacy for my son and family. What motivates me is when I’m able to use my gifts to inspire others to fulfill their purpose on earth.
QUESTION: What are the overall goals for your business and what purpose do you want it to serve?
Chris: Honestly, at first I wanted to build a huge multi million dollar business but as I started building the brand I felt a ton of joy just serving others with my purpose. My ultimate goal is to open a youth entrepreneur center back in my home town Lexington, KY.
QUESTION: How do you build a successful customer base and how do you go about marketing your business??
Chris: It’s simple, relationship first, business second. I made it a point to get to know everyone personally that supported my business and in return they showed more interest in me. We are rolling out a ton of new marketing ideas but honestly we just try to connect with our audience through the messages that we put on our clothing.
QUESTION: What makes your brand stand out from others in your niche?
Chris: Story telling through fashion.
QUESTION: Do you believe there is a formula to being a successful entrepreneur?
Chris: Shesssh.. I mean if their was a formula everyone would make it lol. I believe that through trial and error and a relentlessness to never give up, you can create a roadmap to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
QUESTION: What is your favorite aspect of being a business owner?
QUESTION: What sacrifices have you had to make to keep your business running?
Chris: Being away from family is really tough. Investing everything back into the business. Constantly taking new risks.
QUESTION: What company or business do you admire most other than yours and why?
Chris: Nike. Nike to me is the epitome of a lifestyle brand that encourages you to follow your gut.
QUESTION: Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
Chris: Where I see myself, not sure. I focus on living one day at a time. One foot in front of the other. With the business I would say exactly where it should be. GLOBAL lifestyle brand.
QUESTION: Is there anything else you would like people to know about your business?
Chris: Believe Pursue Inspire. Believe in yourself even when everyone doubts you. Pursue your GOD given talent/purpose. Inspire the world someone is watching and depending on you to make it. @lifesjourneyco www.lifesjourneyclothing.com