“Jesus Junkie...” the title that many youths of this generation claims to be. Miss Opia is the sole founder of the business clothing line, “Jesus Junkie....” This clothing line consists of many bright colours engraved with the title, “Jesus Junkie...” not only clothes are written upon; accessories like badges are also in the picture.
• Hey, how are you doing and Welcome to YHP.
Aloha!!! Thanks for having me, well interviewing me; it's a my privilage!
• Give us some basic details about yourself.
Im a 21 year old Christian, recently graduated from university with a degree in Drama and Sociology( Bless God!), I happen to be the CEO of Jesus Junkie Clothing and I am an aspiring actress.
• How did you come up with the phrase, “Jesus Junkie....”?
There are actually two stories to how it came about. The initial 'surface' of the phrase was in summer 2006, my church had a convention which lasted from Thursday/ Friday to Sunday and I remember going every day and attending almost every service. The following week I met up with a friend for lunch and was expressing to him how much I enjoyed the convention and how I didn't want it to come to an end and how I would have loved to sleep in church! I couldn't articulate how exactly i felt apart from feeling like I couldn't get enough, as if i were addicted, and in this case my addiction was to Jesus...and then the penny dropped JESUS JUNKIE!! The phrase really stuck out for me, especially based on the fact that I was a cannabis user for a period of my life. It started off 'harmless' as most people tend to see it, until it came to stage where I couldn't refuse it and then realised I had a problem. I tried to give up and would go for periods of time without but then have a relapses right until when I came to Christ . The addiction for the drug was replaced by Jesus and the joy of the Lord, which to me is the only high that will never give you a come down.
• What do you mean by the phrase “Jesus Junkie”?
The word ‘junkie’ is commonly used in a negative context, as it refers to a person living with an addiction, narcotics addiction to be exact. In this case however, it has been spun around using the word in a positive sense rather than the negative, as it used in reference to an individuals addiction and dependence on Jesus Christ rather any earthly/destructive substances.
• Do you solemnly aim to attract Christians?
No. The initial Jesus Junkie design can be seen as an individuals expression, as I found it the best way to express how I feel about my faith. I believe that this is also the case for other Christians who feel they can relate to this expression , hence them joining the movement and proudly proclaiming their faith buy wearing our merchandise. However, in the case of it appealing to non-beleivers, I see it as a form of evangelism; being addicted to something is a big deal, and most people recognise the use of the word 'junkie' and relate it to addiction, so to a non-believer , seeing the statement JESUS JUNKIE , I'd like to believe it would be thought provoking, making them think and try to understand it. The statement is a challenge, challenging people and encouraging them to try and swap their current addictions for something much greater. I see it as the way a person in a remote village in Cambodia may own a Coca-Cola tshirt, but may have never tasted it or know what it is, I would like Jesus Junkie to get to that stage and although the message behind may not be aparent straight away, I pray they will one day someone will get a tshirt or an item of our clothing and understand the message behind it and possibly be affceted by it.
Who do you model around?
The truth is no one in particular. I am inspired by other designers and business moguls, but no to the point of modeling around them. The vision was divine and given to me by God and He has taught me everything I know. The clothing line was started by me, but it would be no where near to where it is right now without the development,contribution and dedication of my team and those around me.
When should we be expecting your website?
In the next couple months by God's grace. We're in search of the perfect designer for the perfect website ..its under construction.
• What are your aims as the sole founder of “Jesus Junkie...?”
My main aims are to push the name of Jesus as far as it will go. The idea is to challenge people, that contrary to popular opinion, you dont have to be 'clean' to come to Christ ; as everyone has issues they constantly have to deal with, secretst in their past and other stuff, Jesus loves us all regardless of what you have done or gone through . The clothing line is the start of Jesus Junkie as a holding company, as the clothing line is only one part of the company, which by God's grace will continue to grow and make way for other ventures. In the near future I intend for Jesus Junkie to branch into outreach and rehabilitation services, aimed at people who have lived hard lives especially those living with drug addictions or those affected by drug addiction.
• How do you vision “Jesus Junkie...” in the next five years.....?
In terms of the clothing line, God willing we will have longevity and continue to expand. I see the clothing line not being restricted to the gospel scene but being recognised in the mainstream, as well. Our Creative Team have been working on loads of different ideas and collections which we hope will appeal to a wider demographic on a much bigger scale; while still sending out our message. Im praying to have Jesus Junkie reach an international level also, where our products will be available in other countries other than the UK; and it terms of the other sides of the company I expect the outreach and rehabilitaion service to be up and running by God's grace. We also plan to host our official launch next year, so look out for that!
• How did you start “Jesus Junkie....”?
Seems like a long time ago now..but it really isin't! I got the idea in August 2007 but didn't do anything with it till October 2007 when I had five tshirt s made for my self, my sister and three friends. We took pictures wearing them and wore them about and found that people would stop us and ask where we got the tshirts from. After getting a good response I went on to make a larger order and sold them at my church and to family and friends. We then put pictures up of us wearing them on social networking site Facebook to see if we would get a larger response, which it did. The tshirts happened to catch the attention of Gospel music producer Tosin 'TP' Peters (our Managing Director) who after seeing it got in contact with me and expressed his support for the movement, resulting in him joining the team. With his connections in the gospel scene we began to receive invites to events to either showcase our work in fashion shows or simply sell at the events; where at one of our earlier shows we the met our now Creative Director, poet Stephanie 'Royaltie' Poopola who also expressed her support for the movement and with her creative background and efforts, helped to push Jesus Junkie Clothing out even more. Since then things have kind of erupted, as we now have a strong team and things are continuing to expand!
• What kind of message are you trying present to the audience through your clothing line, accessorise...etc?
The main message is to encourage people to be bold about their beliefs. There was once a time when Christianity wasn't seen as 'cool' if you know what I mean, but it has come to a stage where I am confident in my faith and really don't care what the world has to say about it and I encourage people to that also.
• What were the drawbacks within your business, and how did you overcome it?
Wow, I think there have been and will always be drawbacks, but we have to get through them don't we? The main drawback is the lack of understanding in the sense that some people see our logo and for some reason think we are saying something blasphemous or insulting Jesus. We get mixed emotions from people, non-beleivers and Christians alike, but although it can be seen as a set back based on their negative feedback, what we are are doing is more important than a couple's people lack of understanding and ignorance. The only way we have been able to and continue to overcome come it is by standing on the faith that what we are doing is not for our glorification but for a greater purpose, for God; we basically have to continue to believe in oursleves and what we are doing and not be deterred by other people.
• How old is this business?
The first ever tees were printed in October 2007 and after that more t-shirts where sold, but we didn't officially emerge until August 2008, the 9th of August to be exact, which is when we had our first fashion show. Based on that you could say Junkie Clothing has been running for about a year now.
• Roughly, how big is Jesus Junkie as a business?
I have no idea how to measure.We're pretty big compared to when we first started, and we're growing everyday! We've got 8 members of our team now and we've got people allover the UK wearing our garments, so I guess you could say we are nationwide, though there are still some places in the UK that are still untouched.
• Name four essential factors that one must obtained to run such a business?
1- Vision/ Mission statement- You have to know what your intenitons are and how you intend to execute them
2- The right team- The people around you have to share the same vision as you to avoid wasted time on trying to get ton the same page.
3- Good Judgement- You have to have the confidence to trust your own decisions and judgment.
4- Work ethic - You must be able and ready to give your all even when there is no financial reward.
• Is an educational degree essential for one to possess in order to run a business like this?
Not exactly, No. I have never studied business but I am learning a lot about it through research, advice and mistakes that I make. I intend to take business courses in the future and would strongly advise someone thinking about starting any kind of business to take a business course or something similar; it would save you having to make unnecessary mistakes.
• What is your advice for students and young adults who aim to start a business as your own based on their personal belief?
Before doing anything you have to know the reason for the business, is it really based on personal belief or is it simply a money making scheme? When you know what one it is, I think it will determine your approach and commitment towards it. Secondly, and extremely important is not to procrastinate, Don't put it off!
Thanks for your time.
No problemo...I just hope I have been a blessing to someone reading this!!