It’s hard not to appreciate a woman of faith, and it’s impossible not to love a woman whose brand stands on love. Welcome to the world of OGCJ, Only God Can Judge, a fashion line with a first class message owned by a 20-something with a bright spirit and beautiful intentions. The owner is Dean’a Delrose, a 27-year-old Jersey girl that I first met last summer at an early morning boot camp class. She was always nice, sweet, and had a really good energy about her. Once I learned about OGCJ, I kept my eye on her brand via social media, and on the tees that the boot camp instructor purchased that I loved at first sight. I finally bought my first tee recently, and now I’m obsessed; great quality and feel, on top of standing for something more and giving back to charity. In interviewing Dean’a and seeing the passion in her eyes for her brand, you can’t help but be drawn in…
“… everyone has an opinion, it’s good to listen but you don’t have to apply it.”
Beth: What inspired you to launch a fashion line with such a first class message?
Dean’a: I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. It was just a matter of figuring out how and when to do it. Then, I got really lucky with a trip to Italy while I was in between jobs and just in a weird place; I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. While I was with my uncle on a train in Florence, I was feeling really appreciative and grateful to be on this trip, and I just started looking out the window. I was looking at the countryside and all of these beautiful things, and then ‘Only God Can Judge Me’ popped in my head. I knew I had to do something with it because the feeling was so strong. My uncle and I went to a local cafe and got onto one of the computers to see if it was trademarked, and the name was taken. I started crying because I felt like I had this great idea and then poof it was gone. When I came home and had time to really think about it, I knew there had to be another way.
Beth: Wow, so you get home and clearly found another way. How did you get started?
Dean’a: I went to the book release party of Eric LeGrand, a Rutgers football player who was hard hit during a game in 2010 and became paralyzed from the neck down. I met him at the party, and eventually we became friends. He has had a huge impact on my brand and my life. When I was done reading the book, I tried to figure out how I could apply his methods to my life. In less than 6-months, I had the test product, the idea for the name, and my business plan. Every sale of OGCJ goes to his charity. He’s such a strong human being, and he just inspires me; his outlook and determination are so honorable.
Beth: That’s amazing that he inspired you so much when you were trying to launch your business. What’s your creative process now post-launch?
Dean’a: Going crazy (laughing). I’ve learned that when I have an idea, and it stays with me then I pursue it if it doesn’t stay with me I just leave it alone.
Beth: What lessons have you learned since starting your business?
Dean’a: (1) That everyone has an opinion. It’s good to listen, but you don’t have to apply it. (2) You have to believe in yourself and your brand, and be able to filter the noise. (3) And surround yourself with people that support you; especially, when you are feeling uncertain and not as confident.
Come together, don’t judge, and just help each other be our best selves.
Beth: What keeps you motivated?
Dean’a: People. Seeing the unfortunate situations in the world just inspires me to keep going. I don’t do this for myself; I do this for people… to inspire others.
Beth: What are your goals for 2016?
Dean’a: Where do I start… In the midst of launching a campaign and trying some different marketing strategies, I’m focused on raising brand awareness and getting it into stores.
Beth: What are your long-term goals?
Dean’a: I see the possibility of a children’s line and higher-fashion pieces. But my main goal is to help people through fashion, whatever that may be.
Beth: So, I see you just moved to New York?
Dean’a: Yes, I did. I always wanted to move to NY, but there never seemed to be a right time. But, this winter I found myself doubting myself and letting those negative thoughts creep in. I found my funk hard to get out of so I started taking this Mindfulness class in the city–this 8-week course of learning how to live in the moment and trying to get myself out of my funk. Traveling to the city each week was a new experience, and it made me feel fearless. Then I see this Craigslist ad asking for a roommate; it was like everything was in alignment. It’s a new start.
Beth: What do you do for fun?
Dean’a: Anything that involves music, movies, and eating (laughing). And I do like to do volunteer work and meet new people.
Beth: What would you like to leave with Passionistas?
Dean’a: Come together, don’t judge, and just help each other be our best selves.
What do you think of OGCJ? Comment below!