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J. Blue Senior, Bradley Gilkerson, Featured on Yahoo Finance


Bradley Gilkerson, a senior in his second semester of the J. Blue Agency practicum, was featured on Yahoo Finance for his business, RozeLA. Bradley founded RoseLA with people's unique creative identities in mind. RozeLA produces quality clothing for people that want to express their creativity and unique identities thorugh their personal style. We sat down with Bradley and asked him about his experience as a successful student running his own business.


How do you balance being a student and running such a successful business?


Time management and self-discipline are two factors that I pride myself on when it comes to balancing school and my business. I believe my peers and business have shaped these two traits the most as being able to manage all my extracurricular activities on top of school can be a huge hurdle to get through. Being the one and only owner of my business, Roze, can be a lot to handle at once, as there are so many different activities I can choose to focus on when it comes to the daily management. Not sleeping in and creating a structure or to-do list for my day is a huge aspect I think has helped me become successful, as being able to check things off my list is a great feeling at the end of the day. Obviously, self discipline is a big trait I resonate with as if I weren’t motivated to be successful, Roze wouldn’t be where it is today.


What is one cool opportunity that you’ve done through Roze?


There are so many different events I could bring up when asked this question, but I have to say being able to witness A-list celebrities, athletes, and internet sensations wear my clothes is at the top. I say this because they are wearing clothes I put my own blood, sweat, and tears into, and at the end of the day, seeing them wear it in photos is the greatest feeling ever. This one is so important to me because I am used to seeing my friends wear my clothes around campus, or on their social media, but when I see individuals with millions of followers in my clothes, it turns into a different story. Having gone from selling shirts out of the trunk of my car in high school, to big-name artists wearing my clothes is a heartwarming moment, as I would have never in a thousand years imagined this is where the brand would be.


How was this experience being covered by Yahoo Finance?


When I first saw this article, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, as being on the home page of one of the biggest media outlets, Yahoo Finance, was a dream come true. The original plan here was to pay for a press release to get more publicity from two smaller media outlets, which is exactly what we did. When those two articles were first published about the brand, I was ecstatic about the outcome, as the story hit all the main points I wanted. From there the story ended up being picked up by Yahoo Finance, Business Insider, The Boston Herald, and International Business Times, all of which were unplanned! The outcome exceeded above and beyond my expectations, as looking back on it, I wish I did this much sooner, although I have zero complaints about the results as we are busier now than ever before.


How has J. Blue helped you run your business or how has Roze helped you work with J. Blue?


I believe the agency has played a huge role in regard to the recent success of my business, as working on numerous different projects has given me an insight into the organizational structure of how these businesses run. Being able to see where the owners/founders spend most of their time is something I took note of, as they are always trying to figure out how to keep their business sustainable in the long run, as they were not focused on the small aspects of marketing their product or service on social media. This has been an eye-opening experience as I have found myself focusing on short-term goals more often than not. I say this because being able to take a step back and understand the steps I need to take to run Roze for the next 5, 10, and 15 years is something I am diving deeper into. I believe creating an action plan and setting goals for myself are two key components in regard to keeping Roze sustainable, as next on my list is to do a pop-up shop in the Los Angeles fashion district.


What is one piece of advice that you have for students that are interested in starting their own business or are interested in marketing?


I would suggest by just starting, go get your feet wet in as many ventures as you can imagine and stick with the one you find you are most happy with. I had started a handful of other side hustles before I found that I wanted to take on Roze as my full-time gig, so do not stress if you haven’t found your passion project yet, as I believe everyone has one out there waiting for them.


You can read the full story from Yahoo Finance here.

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