Cedric Brown takes on the fashion world
Cedric Brown, 25, is a creative soul. The visual artist and fashion designer has even received international recognition. In 2010, his painting “As the Twig Bends, So the Tree,” was selected for permanent display in St. Petersburg, Russia. His elegant apparel walked the runways at New York Fashion Week.
Flashback a few years, the Atlanta native had an ambitious dream but needed help to get there. “I’ve been scribbling women’s fashion designs on paper since I was a toddler. My mother who raised me all by herself had a unique sense of style. That’s how I really developed my passion for fashion,” shared Cedric. “By fifth grade, I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer.”
In high school, he took art classes and won several awards. Later, he graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a BA in Fashion Design, and completed internships in New York and Hong Kong.
His hard work and talent paid off. He got freelance work with a popular children’s clothing line getting amazing professional design experience. “That’s when I decided to follow my passion and start my business, Cedric Brown Collections,” Cedric said.
He enrolled in Operation HOPE’s Entrepreneur Training Program, which is supported by State Farm, after his cousin went through the program.
“My cousin saw I wanted to start my own business, but I wasn’t completely secure with the concept of running a business,” Cedric explained. “I immediately loved the program. I learned everything from how to structure and run my business to how to market and obtain capital.”
“I was surrounded by entrepreneurs along the same path. We all learned from each other, just as much as we learned from the program.”
Cedric Brown Designs is doing very well but the young artist is not done yet. “I would like to leave a mark on the fashion industry as one of the most fashion forward brands of the South,” said Cedric. “My designs are in some Atlanta and Savannah-based boutiques but I want my designs in every major department store in the South eventually.”
Cedric’s current situation is a far cry from where things started for the first-generation college graduate. He is thankful for the opportunities he was given and is determined to inspire and encourage other dreamers to work hard and live their dreams too.
“Throughout my journey as an entrepreneur, I started to realize I’ve become somewhat of a role model to others. So, I’ve returned to HOPE to share my experience with aspiring entrepreneurs,” Cedric shared. “My goal is to help young entrepreneurs by volunteering with Operation HOPE just as others did for me.”
“There are many bright, talented young people in communities around the nation—essentially our next generation of business builders who need the tools to make their big ideas come to life,” said John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE. “We are pleased to empower young entrepreneurs, like Cedric, with the support of our small business development programming offered through our HOPE Inside model.”