After dreaming of starting her own fashion line and working in the athletic world for 12 years, Amber Johnson decided to take a leap of faith and make her dream a reality.
The idea started forming when Johnson was working as the women’s basketball manager at UT Arlington. She went on to become an operational sports manager, all the while shopping for athletic clothes in the women’s and men’s sections.
Unexpectedly, her big push came in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In October 2019, she started Jamber, or “Just Anticipating More By Exercising Resilience.” Her former boss had told her to go chase her dream of establishing a company, and agreed to pay her salary for eight months.
“My boss said to me one day, you’re there,” she told Dallas Innovates. “You need to go chase it.”
Jamber is a contemporary unisex streetwear line that is “made to motivate” its wearers and passersby. The clothing collection features t-shirts, jackets, pants, hoodies, and more in a variety of patterns and inspirational taglines like “she believed she could so she did.”
The retail prices range from $55 to $249, with all pieces interchangeable, loose-fitting, and for both men and women. It’s currently sold online, but Johnson hopes to one day go brick-and-mortar.
When creating the brand, Johnson wanted people to be motivated to chase their own dreams. Along with tag lines, she wanted to use a hummingbird as the company logo as an inspiration to keep moving forward and chase your dreams like she did.
“The hummingbird was never supposed to be able to fly because its wings are too small,” she says. “But not only can the hummingbird fly, it is the only bird able to fly forward, backward, up, down, sideways, upside down, and even hover. So for me, it represents resilience, determination, faith, and overcoming odds and adversity.”
While establishing her company in the midst of COVID-19, Johnson says that the pandemic hasn’t slowed her down. Her vision for Jamber still goes on, regardless of what circumstances are around. COVID-19 has even helped her business grow.
“Being an entrepreneur is hard work, but beating on yourself is a true gift,” Johnson says. “You may have to maneuver different ways, like the hummingbird, but remember don’t give up on your dream, believe, and stay focused.”
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