Is there a way that you have always wanted to represent where you are from in a special way? Jim Jackson, creator of all things State of Devotion, has done just that. State of Devotion is a lifestyle clothing and accessories brand that specializes in Ohio themed products. I made a special trip to Columbus to speak to Jackson and hear all about his brand.
Name: Jim Jackson
Role: Founder of State of Devotion
CollegeFashionista: How did the idea of State of Devotion come about?
Jim Jackson: I had always wanted my own brand. I spent nine months trying to come up with a name that no one had and put a lot of thought into the design. My brand has a dual meaning. To some, it means you are devoted to where you are from; to others, it could be a cause, belief or style.
CF: How did you get started with your business and where else can we find State of Devotion items?
JJ: I started off coming up with designs, a logo and built a website. I screen-printed samplings and I received very positive feedback. I did a couple events and did very well. My big break came when I was able have a small display and sell my products at Celebrate Local, which is a store that helps small businesses in Ohio. I graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Multimedia. While I was there, I took what I learned to design my own flyers, business cards and do my own photo shoots. Other than my storefront and online shop, I am in 12 stores. Most of my line is located in stores in Columbus, but I have locations in Cleveland and Yellow Springs, Ohio. I do festivals and events, too.
CF: What can we expect in the near future with State of Devotion?
JJ: My goal is to double the size of my current store. I am always looking to add more stores, events, products and diversification. I started with t-shirts and jewelry, but now I am selling home décor, bags and ornaments. I feel that it sets me apart from my peers. All of my products are all made in Ohio or are from the United States. I like to work with local artists and businesses. I have new t-shirt designs coming out and a major photo shoot soon.
CF: What advice would you give to someone who would want to open his or her own business?
JJ: Be original! Come up with your own unique idea, brand and use all the local resources that are available. Sell yourself, the only failure is not trying.