Leondra Head | Local & World Editor
Hampton University is the place for entrepreneurs to thrive and succeed. Founder and CEO of Entr3pnr Julian Johnson is getting his first taste of success. Johnson is a freshman, finance major from Philadelphia that founded his own clothing brand, Entr3pnr, in November 2015. The fast success of the clothing brand has made the clothing line’s logo easily recognizable to Hampton’s students. Entr3pnr’s hats are seen frequently on Hampton University’s campus, with many students sporting them.
“Entr3pnr is a clothing brand that inspires the next generation of entrepreneurs and encourages people not to be salary slaves like society brainwashes them to be,” said Johnson. The “3” in the company name represents the three percent of the population in the world that employees the other ninety-seven percent.
Johnson went on to say that his company’s slogan is, “inspire thought.” It is derived from the question: If you could start your own business right now, knowing it was going to be successful before you even started, what business would you start? Johnson said, “It’s a question that most people never think about because our society has brainwashed us and killed our creativity at a very young age. Ultimately, we want to change the way people think.”
Johnson explain what he describes is the salary slave farm system. “Everyone is told to go attend college. Work really hard in college to get a good job. Then once you have that job told to work even hard as you try to climb the corporate ladder. You’re making someone else rich your entire life and not creating anything for yourself,” said Johnson.
“Salary slaves” are controlled by companies in which they work for. Johnson goes on to say that people are so obligated to their company that they do not realize their full potential. Johnson noted that “some of the best entrepreneurs did not graduate college.”
Johnson first came up with his business idea in August before arriving to Hampton University’s campus and officially launched it in November. “I’ve always wanted to own my own business since I was younger,” mentioned Johnson. He has had an entrepreneur mindset ever since he was a young child. In middle school, Johnson sold airheads and candy on the school bus and expanded his business to other schools in high school with other students working under him selling candy.
Entr3pnr currently sells hats that come in black, white, tan, maroon, light pink, olive and denim. The company is in the process of designing new shirts for the spring and looking forward to having beanies and sweatshirts for the fall of 2016.
Etr3pnr’s website launched in January. Customers are able to purchase hats online. Johnson filed for a trademark for Entr3pnr in January. Entr3pnr has already profited $1,000 in just three months of being in business. Johnson said, “Being 19 and the founder and CEO of a company is like playing a game of chess for the first time.”
Johnson plans for Entr3pnr to reach beyond Hampton University and to a national audience. Johnson said, “Entr3pnr targets everyone because everyone has the capable to be an entrepreneur. You’re never too old to start or too young to start. There’s no limit.”
Johnson credits Entr3pnr’s success to his two partners in the company, Tyler McColley and Jared White. McColley is a freshman, biology major from Philadelphia. McColley also serves as a model and photographer for the brand. “Tyler has the best fashion sense of anyone that I know. He has been modeling since high school and is incredibly passionate about photography. I know if I provide him with the right resources he’ll be the fashion photographer in the world,” said Johnson.
Jared White is a computer science major from Philadelphia. “Jared is our graphic designer. I saw his website and designs and was pretty impressed from what I saw. His high level of technical skill is what drew me to him,” said Johnson. He went on to mention that the coolest thing is that they are all from West Philadelphia.
Johnson thanks and appreciates his loving family for being supportive towards his dreams and goals. Johnson said that his family has been very motivational and love the idea of him starting his own company. His biggest inspiration comes from his dad who once owned his own business. Johnson closed with, “Entr3pnr will be different from any other clothing brand that has ever existed. We will inspire people to change the way they think about having a traditional job.”