We had the good fortune of connecting with Deon Draper and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deon, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
There is an old saying that I love and have lived by over the last few years of my career, and my life in general. “In life, when you take a chance, sometimes good things happen, sometimes bad things happen, but if you don’t take a chance at all nothing happens”. I totally agree with that, cause it has been proven true to me time and time again, admittedly sometimes for the bad, more often than not, for the better. As young entrepreneur I’ve learned that our gut is our biggest weapon and asset, fear is our biggest enemy, we take chances more than anybody else, and have to make difficult decisions on a daily basis. Everything from branding, to marketing to general growth force us to weigh many options a lot of which can be very confusing and intimidating when we are first starting our businesses. In my case, taking risks has definitely put me in multiple positions to not only start my business, but also try to grow it. I’ve took risks in regard to my work-life balance, relocating from city to city, and giving up certain opportunities in exchange for what I felt would be more beneficial ones. Taking risks is scary, and awkward, but they are a big part of life, and entrepreneurship.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My men’s wear is Hip-Hop/Urban inspired street & party wear, sophisticated, comfortable, stylish, with just a little bit of an early 2000’s twist. For women specifically, party dresses are my main passion, nightlife & club wear that is classy, but still very sexy, A-symmetrical shapes, single sleeves, close fittings, plunging necklines, absolutely nothing more than 2 inches below the knee. My stuff is fun, bold, confident, and pushes the envelope. Getting to a point in my business where I am somewhat starting to make a name for self, slowly but surely build my social media presence, and even work for my self part time, & be profitable definitely hasn’t been easy. I have sacrificed a lot, in some ways struggled a lot, & have occasionally had to go to drastic measures just to network and begin to make connections. But every single effort thus far has been well worth it. I asked, I believed, and I received.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was to visit me in Atlanta right now, I would show and introduce him to everything that we both grew up wishing we could do on a day to day basis, coming the city where we come from. All of the wider range of activities and opportunities that we would only see on t.v. and that where either limited and or non-existent to us growing up. I would take him to night clubs, museums, networking mixers, rock climbing, lazer tagging, concerts, open mics, fashion shows, and motivational seminars.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mother & my grandmother most definitely, they are my biggest motivations and inspirations, especially ever since my mother got sick, and my grandmother got separated from her husband. Everything from me graduating college, starting my business, to moving away from the violence, social toxicity, and lack of opportunity in my hometown has been not just for me, but for them to see, and rejoice in. They have always been proud of me, but I feel no limits to the things that I can provide for them, and help them with. They mean everything to me, & they always will.