A UNC student founded his own clothing line in an attempt to inspire students to achieve their goals.
Jalon Cooper, a sophomore studying exercise and sports science, launched VZN Clothing in early August. Originally he was going to just make a shirt for himself, but when other people saw the logo and showed interest in the message, he decided to expand the brand.
“The goal is to inspire others to visualize their goals and to stay focused on their visions,” Cooper said. “I just wanted to take that message and inspire others to each day visualize their goals and remain focused in the process of achieving them.”
Cooper said he loves the feeling of being a student entrepreneur. He’s still a student first, he said, but it is a surreal feeling to follow his passion at the same time.
VZN Clothing is different than other brands because it is focused on its message rather than its popularity, said Gustavo Panduro, a friend of Cooper’s.
“You literally wear it on your sleeve — the word vision,” Panduro said. “Whenever you see that word, you remember what your goals are and what you’re looking for. I just think it’s different in that aspect.”
Many students have started wearing VZN Clothing on campus and participating in photoshoots to help spread the brand’s name. Members of the UNC basketball team including Seventh Woods, Brandon Robinson and Jalek Felton have also helped Cooper’s marketing by sporting the shirts.
Sophomore Jurnee Lopez said Cooper’s line is special because it brings students of all backgrounds together under a common mission.
“A lot of people can come up with different ideas and products, but I think he has a really good message behind it that can be applied to all students, wherever they are in their lives,” Lopez said. “It's applicable in that way to everybody.”
Another friend of Cooper, sophomore Brandy Huynh, said she is proud of the work Cooper has accomplished already, and hopes that more students at Carolina will support his entrepreneurial endeavor.
“VZN motivates and encourages people our age, especially here in college, to have your vision and then work hard and motivate yourself towards that goal,” Huynh said. “The shirts are a really good message overall, and a lot of us students really need that now.”
Cooper said he is excited to see where VZN Clothing goes in the future, and that he ultimately hopes it can bring people the comfort and inspiration that it brings him every day.
“I hope to follow my passions and use what I learn to inspire others,” he said. “I think it’s important for us all, as students, to have a vision for our success.”
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.